Forecast: Big events spark strong 2014
June 18, 2014
After so many years of sour economic news and downbeat ad spending predictions, there’s been an about face.
This week’s media economy forecasts are getting rosier by the day.
The latest, from Magna Global, predicts 6.0 percent growth for the U.S. media economy this year, to $168 billion, an outlook even more optimistic than the agency’s 5.5 percent forecast in April.
Much of the improvement is tied to one-time events, such as the midterm election, this summer’s World Cup and February’s Winter Olympics.
Still, Magna notes that renewed faith in the economy is spurring greater investment by advertisers.
“The main growth drivers are the improved economic outlook and record incremental spend generated by several non-recurring events,” says the report.
The World Cup will pour some $1.5 billion into the global economy. In the U.S., most of the money will go to Spanish-language networks, notes Magna Global, which draw huge audiences for the World Cup.
In fact, during the opening weekend of the World Cup, Univision drew slightly more viewers per game than ESPN.
But Magna points out that soccer is becoming more popular in the U.S. beyond the Hispanic demographic, and it’s a sport on the rise in terms of ad spending.
Spot TV will see the biggest bump from political spending, as usual. It also benefitted somewhat from the Winter Olympics, though the bulk of that advertising was placed on NBC. Cable also saw Olympics growth with NBCUniversal’s MSNBC, CNBC and USA carrying more than 100 hours of the Games.
Overall television will be up by 8.3 percent this year, driven largely by soccer, Olympics and political.
Still, while those big three events are contributing to the rosy 2014 outlooks, they’re not the only thing driving the media economy.
Magna Global notes that excluding political and Olympic spending, 2014 ad spending would still grow by a decent 3.9 percent.
Of course, digital will also be a big driving factor for the media economy. Magna Global forecasts 2014 growth at 14.4 percent, with mobile seeing the biggest jump of any digital subcategory.
It also predicts that online’s share of advertising will outpace television’s by 2018.
Print will continue to struggle, with magazines and newspapers down a combined 7 percent, and radio will be flat.
Out of home will grow by 3.7 percent.
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