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Media Inflation Watch 2018 Jan-Mar data released

The Media Manager Online has been updated with new Inflation Watch data and it now provides a first look at 2018.
© Yulia Sokolova via 123RF.com.

Some highlights (figures are 2018 Jan-Mar on 2017 Jan-Mar unless otherwise stated):

Pay TV stations Q1 rates mostly down


All TV: Rates +4.10% Performance -1.13% MIW Index (CPM) +6.07%
Free-to-air TV: Rates +12.01% Performance -0.89% MIW Index (CPM) +13.50%
Pay TV: Rates -12.66% Performance -1.65% MIW Index (CPM) -9.68%

Very different pictures emerge for the two categories of TV. Although the average rates are +4.10% 2018 Jan-Mar on 2017 Jan-Mar, Free-to-Air's are +12.01% compared to Pay TV's -12.66%.

Examining Free-to-Air stations it becomes clear that SABC1 rates comes in at +33.40% compared to SABC2 +11.70%, and the much smaller SABC3 -30.70%. e.tv has a modest rate increase of +2.7%. Overall the SABC's TV stations comes in at +16.08% rate, with a TV group MIW Index (CPM) increase of +10.70%, boosted mainly by SABC1's performance increase of +17.30%.

Pay TV stations Q1 rates are mostly down, some massively so, which linked to a mainly softening performance manages to get to an increasingly competitive MIW Index (CPM) of -9.68%.

Q1 sets the tone for the year and, as was noted in previous reports, Free-to-Air and Pay TV rate adjustments would seem to reflect a repositioning of linear TV relative to competing media platforms, and appears to be continuing to move ahead of the changing TV landscape. Quite simply the SABC need the cash, DStv Media Sales and others on its platform are repositioning themselves in the bigger world of video on demand. Plus, there is still the uncertain affects of the migration of the analogue TV signal to digital on Free-to-Air TV viewership.

Rate of decline for print medium softer


All print: Rates +3.56% Performance -7.10% MIW Index (CPM) +13.47%
Dailies: Rates +2.74% Performance -9.46% MIW Index (CPM) +13.99%
Weeklies/weekends: Rates +3.78% Performance -8.60% MIW Index (CPM) +17.37%
Communities: Rates +6.55% Performance -1.19% MIW Index (CPM) +8.04%
Consumer mags: Rates +2.13% Performance -8.44% MIW Index (CPM) +16.11%
BTB: Rates +3.21% Performance +2.42% MIW Index (CPM) +7.44%

Rate increases for the Print medium, are at a historical low level and the rate of performance decline of (circulation) of the key categories of dailies/weekends and consumer magazines does appear to be softer. That said a MIW Index (CPM) is still in double digits of +13.47%

So circulation, or lack of it, continues as the main driver, the real issue, in this sector. As stated previously, although there are exceptions, it is the rare major newspaper and magazine title that does not continue to bleed circulation.

Radio stations appear to have lost audience


All Radio: Rates +9.66% Performance -6.91% MIW Index (CPM) +20.54%
Black format stations: Rates +15.51% Performance -7.68% MIW Index (CPM) +26.18%
CIW format stations: Rates +6.48% Performance -6.49% MIW Index (CPM) +17.47%

The overall rate increase for Radio has leapt upwards to +9.66% Q1 2018 on Q1 2017, mainly due to Black format stations (+15.51%) and within this sector mainly SABC owned stations (+16.77%).

In addition, most stations appear to have lost audience, some significantly. (Note, this conclusion may be refuted in future analyses as adjustments to BRC’s Rams may occur, refer to the Technical Note below).

Accordingly, Black format stations present MIW Index (CPM) increases substantially higher than CIW format stations, BUT as often noted Black format stations have a calculated CPM considerably lower than CIW format stations. Thus there is a small closing of the gap between the two.

Technical Note: In January 2016 the Broadcast Research Council’s new Rams study took over from SAARF’s Rams studies done previously, and the 2016 Jan-Dec BRC Rams listenerships ex analyses by the stations are included in both Inflation Watch and the CPM Analysis for 2016. For 2017 the Jan-Jun, Apr-Sept and Jul-Dec releases of BRC Rams are used but opinion in radio circles is that the methodology did not properly consider the urban population sample sizes, affecting predominantly CIW format stations. Thus there may be some adjustments to future station rankings and you are urged to be careful when making performance comparisons.

OOH continues flat performance


Out of Home: Rates +2.0% Performance change none MIW Index (CPM) +2.0%

Out of Home again continues flat compared to competing media platforms, and certainly beneath the CPI. Availability continues at a high level. Having said that much depends on the contractor, format, advertiser demand and location. A good format unit in a prime position will be in demand and command a premium rate.

No real rate increase for Cinema


Cinema: Rates +0.0% Performance +6.80% MIW Index (CPM) -6.40% The Cinema Index is worked on the top 15 Ster-Kinekor houses (some 140 screens). Cinemark has had no real rate increase and audiences, as supplied by the company, indicate an increase of +6.80% Q1 2018 over the same quarter in 2017. This results in a measured MIW Index (CPM) of -6.40%.

Constant performance measure for Online


Online: Rates +7.40% Performance 0.0% MIW Index (CPM) +7.40% Here a schedule of top sites reflects a calculated increase of +7.40% although in real market terms negotiations would negate most or all of this increase. Note there is no change in given performance because all the sites in the schedule have a CPM rate base: thus the performance measure is a constant.

A buyer's market
Total all:
Media Rates +5.06% Performance -3.29% MIW Index (CPM) +10.14% Rates at +5.06% overall Q1 2018 on Q1 2017 is higher than buyers have experienced in the last few years, mainly due to higher radio increases and somewhat less moderating effect of TV in this period.

Q1 has usually set the tone for the balance of the year but this may change given continued highs and lows in advertiser sentiment. This is driven by the still uncertain political landscape leading up to the election, unfolding scandals, changing consumer spend and the international climate. So despite nominal rate increases, it is very much a buyer’s market.

For more information call Caitlin Hood or Mike Leahy at Media Manager Africa 011-465-3704 or
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