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Cost Of Advertising On TV Surge Globally

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The cost of advertising in media channels such as TV has surged due to inflation, according to an analysis by WARC Media.

Its latest Global Ad Trend report, The rising cost of incremental reach, reveals that, globally, TV CPMs (cost per thousand) have increased 31.2% since 2019 – the steepest incline in more than two decades – and are up 9.9% year-on-year in 2022. 

The trend is especially pronounced in the US, where TV CPMs are predicted to reach $73.14 in 2022, an increase of 40.0% on pre-COVID costs. 

For some categories the impact is heightened. According to WARC Media data, advertisers in the food category spent on average 79.8% of their budgets on TV in 2019, and in the automotive category, 67.7%. If they were to have maintained that same level of investment, by 2021 the volume of impressions would have decreased by 18 percentage points. 

Digital media costs are increasing too. This twin trend of declining linear television viewership and rising TV media costs is encouraging advertisers to look elsewhere for incremental reach, but price pressure is being felt across the online media landscape. 

Paid social CPMs increased by 33% between 2019 and 2021 (source: Skai) and the growing popularity of retail media formats is pushing up the cost of advertising on platforms like Amazon. 

Channels such as broadcaster video on-demand (BVOD) provide an alternative source of incremental reach. However, over-the-top (OTT or streamed video) ad costs are rising too: inflation in advanced TV formats in the US is forecast to reach 9.9% in 2022, as per World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) figures.

In another vein, the pursuit of incremental reach has generally focused on digital audio-visual channels, as they offer a more straightforward transition from television. In comparison, offline channels are often under-utilised, despite not having witnessed the same levels of price inflation since 2019.

In Australia, the cost of radio media in 2022 remains 1.1% below pre-pandemic levels, while prices in the US are largely unchanged three years on. 

A similar picture emerges in out-of-home (OOH), incorporating both static and digital panels: in the UK, outdoor ad prices are 3.1% lower than before COVID-19, while, in the US, OOH remains 5.8% cheaper than it was in 2019.

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