The UK Government marketing campaigns will be “key” to newspaper ad revenues rebounding next year, according to the UK’s biggest ad buyer.
Group M is forecasting total UK advertising spend of £23.6bn in 2021, which would be the biggest growth (12.4%) seen in more than a decade. It follows a disastrous 2020 which saw the first decline in the sector of 4.4% to a market total of £21m, following growth of 8.6% in 2019 to £22m.
Print media was one of the worst-hit sectors this year, with an expected decline of 23% – although a rebound of 13% in 2021 is anticipated. Newsbrands were “bearing the brunt” of this year’s decline with an expected drop in ad revenue of 28% in 2020 ahead of 17% growth next year.
Group M “Moreover, many of the print industry’s traditional sources of revenue, such as retailers, continue to face heightened challenges from online-based competitors, shifting activity—both in terms of selling efforts and related marketing—toward pure-play digital media.”
Pure-play digital advertising is expected to grow by 4.9% in 2020 despite Covid-19 pressures, with additional growth of about 12% in 2021 before it tapers off at around 7% after that.