Content image

Global media prices have risen across channels since the pandemic, according to the latest Global Ad Trends report on the rising cost of incremental reach.

Even in the case of offline channels such as radio and magazine media, average global ad costs are nudging upwards. However, the trend is most noticeable in TV – the channel traditionally used by many large-scale advertisers as the driving force for reach.

If an advertiser had chosen to invest the same amount in paid media between 2019 and 2021, there would have been a decline in the expected impressions delivered by that budget over that three-year period. By 2021 the volume of impressions they could expect to gain globally via TV media would have decreased by 18 percentage points, for instance.

Digital media prices are also bubbling upwards. Social cost per thousand (CPM) reached $9.00 in Q4 2021, up by a third (33%) from Q4 2019. This is the highest value recorded in two years, according to data from digital advertising company Skai.

The growing popularity of retail media formats is also pushing up the cost of advertising on platforms like Amazon, according to data from Perpetua, WARC’s sister company.

Cost per click (CPC) across Amazon’s Sponsored Products (+25%), Sponsored Brands (+10%) and – most dramatically – Sponsored Display (+120%) formats all increased between Q1 2021 and Q1 2022, with brands using retail media as a means of driving purchases with in-market shoppers.

WARC Media's latest report focuses on the rising cost of incremental reach. If you do not currently have access, please get in contact.

Key findings include:

  • Linear TV represented 37.9% of daily media consumption in North America; by 2022, that percentage is forecast to drop to 24.5%.

  • In the US, where TV CPMs are forecast to reach $73.14 in 2022, an increase of 40.0% on pre-COVID levels in 2019.

  • Channels like BVOD provide an alternative source of incremental reach; however, OTT ad costs are rising, too.

  • Attention research suggests that not all incremental reach is equally effective; channels with higher CPMs may deliver better-quality attention.