Cost of TV ads falls to lowest in decades as recession bites

Prices set to fall by 16 per cent year on year as demand weakens

The cost of advertising on television has slumped to its lowest level in decades, says a report today by Billetts, a media and marketing consultancy. Television advertising rates prices are set to fall by 16 per cent year on year in response to weak demand from advertisers, and the drift of audiences to the internet. At approximately £4.16 per 1,000 adults, the price of reaching an audience via a television ad slot is the lowest since the 1980s, and the switch to digital means adults are watching more hours of television.

Billetts say that TV advertising revenues for the first half of 2009 have been worse than any commentator predicted at the start of the year. The advertising recession continues to hit the traditional media. Advertising in national newspapers will be, on average, 5 per cent cheaper this year, say Billetts, and consumer magazines 9 per cent cheaper. TV listings magazines and the women's weeklies are set to be the hardest hit.

Billetts are predicting display advertising prices in national press to fall by 7 per cent for mono and 5 per cent for colour during 2009. But even the web is not immune form the slump in ad spend in today's straitened times. Billetts report that display advertising on the internet will be between 5 and 10 per cent lower in 2009, with only the cost of search advertising online growing, and then only in certain categories.

The slowdown in consumer demand, especially for "big-ticket" items such as cars, the housing crash and rising unemployment, is reflected in a worse-than-expected drop-off in advertising spend behind these lower prices.

"Cost-wise, it's a great time for advertisers with prices so low, but the severity of the downturn will have serious medium to long-term implications for media owners and agencies in the same way as it already has for some of their clients," said Nick Manning of Billetts.

Advertising revenues to the television companies, dominated by ITV, are forecast to be £475m, or 14 per cent, lower this year than 2008, itself down £175m on 2007. Analysts say that the television advertising market has never shrunk for two years in a row before.

Billetts' early outlook for 2010 shows little cause for optimism, fuelling fears that the industry will witness three consecutive years of revenue contraction. One reason for this is thought to be that that next year's advertising budgets will be set using deflated 2009 budgets as a benchmark, effectively delaying any upturn in advertising spend.

National newspaper ad revenues will be down by £252m, or 18 per cent, year-on-year and consumer magazine ad revenues will fall by about £100m, again 18 per cent, said Billett. "It was said that offline advertising was migrating online but our forecast is predicting online revenues to grow by just £15m in 2009 with the growth of recent years stalling."

In the short term, the most competitive media pricing in recent memory is seen as good news for those advertisers with budgets to spend and who are looking to gain a competitive advantage at a time when rivals may be finding their budgets squeezed. The severity of the advertising downturn is pushing many media concerns into aggressive campaigns to cut costs and fire staff. An average of 140 media jobs a week have been lost since the recession began.

News
Clare Balding
peopleClare Balding on how women's football is shaking up sport
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
A comedy show alumni who has gone on to be a big star, Jon Stewart
tvRival television sketch shows vie for influential alumni
Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
Life and Style
Small winemakers say the restriction makes it hard to sell overseas
food + drink
News
i100
Life and Style
fashionThe Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Sport
Tony Bellew (left) and Nathan Cleverly clash at the Echo Arena in Liverpool
boxingLate surge sees Liverpudlian move into world title contention
Voices
Neil Findlay
voicesThe vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
food + drinkMeat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Reach Volunteering: Trustee – PR& Marketing, Social Care, Commercial skills

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Age Concern Slough a...

Reach Volunteering: Charity Treasurer

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Crossroads Care is s...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000: SThree: We consistently strive to be ...

Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CADIS) Developer

£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin