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Spain's Ad Market Posts Gradual but Steady Gains

Expenditures were up 3.8% in H1 2016

August 2, 2016 | Ad Spending

As Spain’s economy continues its recovery from the acute crisis of 2008 and 2009, the country’s advertising industry is also bouncing back, according to research. Every quarter, Arce Media partners with Media Hotline to measure advertising activity among more than 1,300 publishers. Its latest report indicates that total ad spending in Spain—excluding discounts and commissions—rose 3.8% in the first half of this year, to €2.10 billion ($2.33 billion).

Total Media Ad Spending in Spain, by Media, H1 2015 & H1 2016 (millions of € and % change)

Results were wildly uneven across media channels, however. Investment in both television and cinema ads climbed by more than 8%, compared with H1 2015. TV continued to claim more than half (52.8%) of all ad spending, at €1.11 billion ($1.23 billion).

As in previous years, the internet was the runaway winner, with percentage growth of 16.1%, though that only carried digital spending to €234.5 million ($260.2 million).

All other media saw declines. The worst hit were Sunday newspapers; that sector shrank by a remarkable 26.3%, compared with H1 2015. Overall, newspapers registered a fall in ad spending of 8.6% relative to the previous year, but ranked second for total spending, at €278.3 million ($308.8 million).

Outlays on radio and out-of-home (OOH) media recorded less alarming drops of 0.8% and 1.2%, respectively, since H1 2015.

Forecasts for full-year 2016 are broadly encouraging: Spain will see growth of 4.5% in outlays on all measured media, according to Arce, boosting total spending to €4.20 billion ($4.66 billion ). This isn’t a blanket recovery, though. In fact, Arce Media has trimmed its earlier estimates of total ad spending since April this year, when it predicted annual expenditure of €4.22 billion ($4.68 billion ).

Momentum will again be concentrated in three areas—TV, cinema and the web.

Specifically, spending on TV ads is expected to climb by 7.4%, while cinema spending rises 10.6%. Digital ad expenditures will jump by roughly the same percentage as in H1 2016, or 16.2%, as the internet accounts for 12.0% of the country’s advertising market.

Arce Media also projected very modest gains for radio and OOH during the second half of 2016. But both will represent smaller shares of total ad spending than in 2015, at 9.4% and 7.2%, respectively.

Meanwhile, the collapse of expenditure on traditional print media looks set to continue.

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