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Future of Media: RAJARs return, OOH ad spend trepidation, publisher revenue survey

The Drum's media editor John McCarthy rounds up the latest media trends each Thursday, this is also available in your inbox. Sign up here.

For whatever reason, a steady stream of media research flooded the inbox this week. So I've cherry-picked some of the most interesting findings you might have missed while you were reading 100 stories regarding Facebook.

The RAJARs are finally back after more than a year on ice. The most interesting line for us as advertisers was that now 66% of listening is digital - which means more addressable ads and data gathering. To this end, several digital-only stations were launched. The paradigm shift occurred during the pandemic. More here.

AA/Warc then reported that advertisers' budgets are up about 14% this year (+£1bn) in Q4. It's a make-or-break Christmas after all. Search advertising will be one of the quickest-growing areas, increasing by 15.3% to £2,715m. Inflated pricing due to heightened demand paired with brands running their campaigns earlier than ever is to blame.

According to the IPA Bellwether, out of home was to be the only media category where advertiser spend was projected to contract. I probed OOH experts as to what could be happening. Alistair McCallum, Kinetic Worldwide UK chief executive, believes that some clients need convincing that the audiences are there, especially with the remaining prevalence of remote work. James Copley, UK chief executive at Talon Outdoor had actually seen "surging demand". Whatever happens in the long-term Kantar fully expects OOH to bounce back bigger than ever.

The Association of Online Publishers (AOP) quizzed 16 of its members, some of the biggest publishers in the UK. 92% saw positive revenue growth in the year leading to June 2021. Good news. But how positive was the growth? 67% of survey respondents believe cost reduction will once again be a high priority in the next year. How many out-of-work journalists will that be do you think? Display advertising remained the largest revenue category, seeing a £56.3m increase of 42.1% year-on-year... regardless, 33% are prioritizing non-advertising revenue growth. Mixed signals my publisher friends. More here.

Research from Insider Intelligence, Publicis and GWI detailed smart media consumption habits. Worthy of a mention is the fact smart TV penetration was above 50% in several surveyed countries. With CTV generating a lot of buzz right now, advertisers will be hoping high adoption rates continue.

And to finish, on the back of The Drum's Globalization Deep Dive, I listed some of my top global media consumption trends in 2021. Some highlights that might appeal to the global marketer...

  • 3.2bn people still don't have internet access.

  • Digital became 70p of every £1 spent in advertising in 2021.

  • UK TV spend will increase 15.1% in 2021 (almost doubling its 8.8% forecast).

  • Squid Game is Netflix's most-watched show with 111m 'views'.

  • Subscriptions to streaming services climbed to 31m in 2020 in the UK, up from 20m in 2019.

Read it here. And I'll call it a day there at the risk of burning you out. Be sure to check in next week. The Drum's going big on Cop26 and we'll be exploring the role of carbon calculation at media agencies and some of the networks' big commitments.

Read the last Future of Media briefing.

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