Initiative’s Media Fact Book 2023: Romanian media market to reach EUR683M by end of the year

Business, Digital & Media, Media, OOH / DOOH

Maintaining an upward trend, but with a slower growth rate, the Romanian media market aligned with macro economic changes and reached an estimated net value of EUR 657 million by the end of 2022. The moderate growth in 2022 of only 9% compared to 2021 also comes amid uncertainty and cautious strategies adopted by advertisers in the context of the war in Ukraine and negative economic forecasts.

The Media Fact Book analysis, the only report analysing the Romanian media and advertising market, estimates a new record net value of EUR 683 million for the Romanian media market at the end of this year. This evolution is supported by Digital, where we forecast a +9% growth, by OOH which, in the context of social revival, contributes with +8%, while for Radio, expectations are only +3%, and TV remains at the previous year’s level, but maintains its leading position. The only sector for which a decrease is expected (10%) is Print, where a consolidation of this downward trend is observed, due to rising production costs and changing media consumption behaviors.

“After the spectacular growth in recent years, 2022 came with many economic and social concerns, leading to much more caution in media investments and beyond. However, we are pleased to maintain the positive trend for the entire media market and treat the moderate 9% growth in 2022 as a sign of maturity and consolidation. Digital remains the main growth driver for the entire industry, +25% compared to 2021, strongly helped by fast and affordable mobile connections and social media penetration. 2023 is shaping up to be a year of consolidations and mature approaches to allocating communication budgets. According to our estimates, the entire media market will grow by 4%, building solid premises for achieving business objectives”, said Alexandra Olteanu, Managing Director Initiative Romania.

After spectacular growth amplified by the pandemic context of the last two years, Digital keeps its role as the locomotive for the entire media industry and its positive direction, reaching a new record market share of 35% of the entire media market in Romania, with an estimated net total of EUR 233 million, by the end of 2022. The main factors that influenced this evolution are the growth and consolidation of e-commerce, the change in Romanians’ media consumption habits and the internet penetration at a new record level of 89%, especially via mobile connections.

Significant increases in the adoption of digital platforms are recorded among Romanians over 55 years old, the difference between urban and rural in terms of digitalization remaining unchanged compared to 2021. The Media Fact Book 2023 report contains detailed analysis of how Romanians use digital, the evolution of this relationship over time and the effect on the communication market and on the relationship with brands.

The downward trend in TV audiences continued and accelerated in 2022 with a decrease of -10% compared to the previous year. However, in 2022, TV advertising investments accounted for more than half (53%) of the local media market, with an estimated net value of €350 million.

The return to an active lifestyle, increased appetite for travel and the rise of digital alternatives have led people to consume less of the TV stations’ broadcasts; but those who have remained loyal to this medium maintain a stable profile, both at urban and national level. Major events such as the war in Ukraine, international sports competitions and economic news have made TV reach more people with high social status, reflecting a higher penetration of this medium by +2.1% compared to the previous year.

The first part of 2023 brought similar audience results to the previous year, and companies investing in advertising are equally cautious in managing their media investments in TV, even if the offer in this category is growing with the launch of new TV stations. In terms of market share, TV is expected a very slight decrease, by only 2%, in favor of Digital by the end of 2023. As far as the TV market, Media Fact Book’s estimate is that it will remain at EUR 350 million.

The OOH market also registered a good year in 2022, with record results, increasing by 23% compared to 2021, up to an estimated market value of EUR 37 million. Unfortunately, the growth potential of this media channel has been significantly influenced by economic uncertainty, high production prices and potential war-driven changes.

Digital OOH continues its positive evolution, reaching an estimated net value of EUR 7 million and becoming an increasingly sought-after alternative by advertisers also due to more generous creative options.

In 2023, the Media Fact Book estimate for the OOH market is an 8% increase, which will lead to a value of EUR 40 million.

The Radio market exceeded expectations, generating +10% growth in 2022 versus 2021, reaching an estimated net value of EUR 31.9 million. In 2023, radio stations continue their strategy of integrating offline content with digital and social media platforms, and Media Fact Book forecasts moderate growth of 3%, taking the market to EUR 32.9 million.

Print remains on a downward trend, with an estimated 10% decline in 2022. Here, too, the solution comes from an integrated approach with digital and from expanding the profile of publications towards new mediums, such as video or social media. With all these optimizations for the end of 2023, the outlook remains pessimistic, with an estimate decline of 11% compared to 2022 and a total market value of EUR 5 million.

The categories that contributed most strongly to the growth of the media market in 2022 were Retail and Healthcare, where increases in communication budgets were seen, followed by Food & Beverages and e-commerce, which maintained their positions in the media investments ranking, even though the allocated budgets decreased.

The information was extracted from the Media Fact Book, a guide published annually by the Initiative agency, since 1997. The full study can be viewed and downloaded in digital form at

Initiative is one of the largest independent media networks in the world, providing specialized planning and buying media services, strategy, media consulting and new media.  Initiative is a member of the Interpublic Group of Companies and is affiliated with the International Initiative Worldwide network. In Romania, Initiative is a member of the group of companies that also includes the MullenLowe, Golin and Medic One agencies.