Media costs to rise in China

23 January 2013

BEIJING: Media rates are set to increase by 14% in China this year, more than doubling the projected expansion in marketers' budgets, a report has argued.

R3, the consultancy, polled leading client-side and agency executives in China, and found that media spending was expected to grow by 7% on an annual basis in 2013.

More specifically, digital is in line to record an 18% uptick when compared with the previous 12 months, an amount standing at 6% for outdoor and 5% for both television and radio.

Conditions may remain less buoyant for print, as newspapers are due to log a 3% improvement and magazines a 2% gain measured against 2012.

The analysis also revealed overall media costs should increase by an average of 14% year on year, twice the equivalent uplift for budgets, albeit still lagging the 16% inflation witnessed in 2012.

Within this, television ad prices could rise by 22% at the ratecard level and 17% in net, or actual, terms. TV will take 50% of all spending in 2013, with state broadcaster CCTV and Hunan, Anhui and Zheijang Satellite all enjoying especially robust demand.

"In many ways, the Provincial Satellite auctions of early November set the baseline for marketer sentiment for 2013," Fora Liu, senior consultant at R3, said. "We saw airtime premiums between 34% to 161%, reflecting a strong engagement from potential marketers."

When discussing magazines, ratecard increases of 13% should taper down to an 8% expansion in net terms, returns reaching 11% and 9% respectively for newspapers.

Radio will see a smaller gap between these totals, with net inflation of 18%, just two percentage points behind ratecard costs. On its part, outdoor was forecast to deliver an 8% price jump after discounts, four percentage points off the official listed charges.

Digital ads are also pegged to register a 16% lift on 2012 – a figure likely to prove much higher for Weibo, or microblogging, platforms and online video services. Ratecard fees will grow by 22%.

These readings came in at 18% and 27% in turn for mobile. Liu said: "Marketers are finally seeing digital as a true mass media, and this demand, particularly for Social, is driving up media owner expectations."

Data sourced from R3; additional content by Warc staff