Advertising spend patterns in Europe


Submitted by: Print Power 22/01/2013

Advertising spend patterns in Europe

The Case Study

Newspaper and magazines remain strong force

There’s been a lot written and spoken about the changes in advertising spend over the last couple of years, with plenty of articles taking the death of newspapers as their core theme. Using research carried out by ZenithOptimedia*, we have evaluated the current commercial standing of print media in Europe, an evaluation that includes newspaper and magazine advertising.

Print media holds the number one position in seven of 12 countries in Europe for the market share of newspaper and magazine advertising. It holds the number two position in the remaining five.

*Part of the Publicis group, ZenthOptimedia is one of the leading advertising agency groups in the world and their advertising spend research is used as a reference for media companies and organisations across the globe.

The relative importance of newspaper and magazine advertising

Europe exhibits a very different pattern when it comes to the media landscape. Culture, regulations, the importance of commercial television and penetration of broadband and internet all determine the position of print media as a channel for commercial messages. Latin countries are characterised by a lower market share for print media, while Germanic and Scandinavian countries present a high share of print media.

Consumers don’t change their media consumption pattern overnight, nor do advertisers and their agencies. They will adopt new media – the popularity of Facebook and Twitter demonstrates that – but remain enthusiastic readers of their trusted newspapers and magazines.

Recent research from EMS shows the increase in readership among affluent people and young consumers in Europe. It seems that consumers occasionally want to escape the always-on state and read and relax at their own pace without looking at a screen. Advertisers understand this and are attracted by the prospect of reaching a consumer that pays full attention to this message.

Reading becomes more popular in Germany

The Germans have an increasing interest in print media. They like to read books: 53% say they like to read books – a lot. This also seems to be true for magazines, as the recent AWA media research data indicates. The research shows an increase of 0.7% in German magazine coverage following four years of decline. Out of the 243 magazines studied, 99 show an increase of readers, 80 have maintained their readership and 64 show a relatively small loss.

Digital natives read more print than average group of adults

Digital natives aged 15-24 – called Technophiles in the National Readership Survey (NRS) – are ‘average issue readers’ of eight print newspaper and magazine titles, compared to the all-adult average of seven titles.

The smartphone users in the group are also above-average users of print, with higher readership among titles such as The Economist, GQ and The Independent. While readership habits and preferences are certainly changing, NRS shows how the most active users of technology and mobile devices remain keen readers of newspapers and magazines.

Making up around 13% of the population, Technophiles have been identified as those using four or more of seven items, including smartphones, e-book readers, HD television, Wi-Fi networks and wireless streaming. They tend to be young, well-educated and affluent, with a net personal income 36% above the average. They use the internet every day, consume content across a range of digital platforms, but are also enthusiastic readers of print.

Print back in fashion for the young

One of the more surprising aspects of the AWA and NRS reports is that they contradict the belief that young people are below-average print users and do all their reading via mobiles and online.

According to the AWA research, 14-29 year-olds read more print magazines than they did the previous year, while heavy internet users also increased their magazine reading, with 8.2% more contacts.

The NRS research also backs up this migration back towards print, with readership of print titles well above average for the 15-24 digital native – even for the heaviest phone users. The entire survey group had a repertoire of around 25 different newspapers and magazines (compared to an average of 17) but were classed as average-to-light consumers of commercial TV and radio.

• AWA research is one of the largest German consumer-media surveys, researching the 14-plus population, with a sample size of 20,990.

• The NRS (UK) sample offers a large and reliable base to analyse developments: 36.000 in-home interviews are conducted each year.


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