Initiative Romania updated its Media Fact Book, estimating the Romanian media market decreased 2.7% in 2020, to Euro 467M and expects a comeback of 4% in 2021, to Euro 485M, supported mainly via media budgets invested in digital and TV.
Covid pandemic affected the media budgets so the negative development of the media market in 2020 was caused by the steep decrease of the budgets in April and May, when many brands limited communication due to uncertainty due to social and sanitary context. The biggest ad budgets continued to be invested by Pharma, while the biggest increased was posted by e-commerce (+88%), that gets close by retail and telecom, categories with a long tradition in communication.
Alexandra Olteanu, MD Initiative2020 came with changes on large scale, in the global socio-economic context, and at a smaller scale, when it comes of consumers habits when it comes of media consumption. So the pandemic left some lessons for the media market, especially considering the strong connection between people´s way of living and their media consumption. As the mobility restrictions came in force, the OOH market lost exposure. The traffic of the main news websites and the TV audiences fluctuated, being influenced by the level of tenssion and stress of the consumers, once with the evolution of the pandemic
TV budgets had a fluctuating evolution in 2020, down 35% in april and may, following by a stellar comback in second half of the year, when budgets were moved from 2nd quarters to last 2 quarters of the year, which generated an unprecedented sold-out for TV stations. Therefor, this media segment was at a similar level with 2019, with a value of Euro 308M. The TV stations audiences increased strongly in 2020 spring lockdown (+16% compared to 2019), went down during the warm season and came back to high levels in autumn and winter. For 2021, Media Fact Book estimates a 2% increase of TV budgets to Euro 314.5M.
Despite the pandemic, digital continued its ascension and ended last year with Euro 117,8M invested budgets, 6,2% up compared to 2019. Social distancing and circulation restrictions influenced the increase of digital in 2020, of shopping and online payments, home deliveries and online video streaming. Netflix had impressive traffic numbers, while the traffic associated with video gaming also posted impressive traffic.
OOH and radio investments decreased dramatically, by 20% for radio compared to 2019, to Euro 22.5M. A similar investments level is estimated for 2021.
When it comes of OOH, 2020 had a 20% decrease in april, a recovery during summer a new decreases during the cold season. Overall, the decrease was of 25% compared to 2019.