Ad boom lifts Spanish TV

Revenue rises 10%

MADRID — Extending Spain’s TV ad boom, total advertising on Spanish nationwide and regional TV channels rose a standout 10.2% to Euros 2.88 billion ($3.4 billion) in 2005, according to a just-out report by Spanish ad monitor Infoadex.

Of terrestrial broadcasters, TV ad revs rose 16% to $1.1 billion for Telecinco, 19% at Antena 3 to $992.6 million, while dropping 3% at pubcaster RTVE to $837.5 million.

Infoadex survey also covers premium pay TV channel Canal Plus, up 2% to $47.4 million, and Spain’s regional pubcasters, whose combined ad revs rose 3.5% to $452.2 million.

Spain’s TV ad market may be maturing fast: 2004 TV ad growth came in at 15.0%.

But Spain’s is still a standout result when contrasted with Europe’s other “big five” territories.

U.K. ad buyer Zenith Optimedia forecast last November that full year TV ad revs for 2005 would grow in current prices at just 1.5% in the U.K., 1.4% in France, 3.1% in Italy, and drop 1.7% in Germany.

Powering revs, Spanish TV advertising in Spain still remains relatively cheap compared with the U.K., Germany and France. That gives multinational companies, who account for most Spanish ad investment, far more bang for their buck from TV advertising in Spain than most other European countries.

According to Infoadex, total advertising in Spain climbed 6.8% to $16.2 billion. TV’s share of ad revenue held at a very high 43.3%, compared with a world average of around 37%.

“There are a lot of strong regional newspapers in Spain, which means that national advertisers don’t have so many newspaper options, so tend to go to TV,” said Jonathan Barnard, Zenith knowledge manager.

“TV advertising is seen in Spain as more effective and prestigious than in other media,” said Infoadex Pedro Villa.

Also explaining the rise, Spain’s GDP grew around 3.4% in 2005, two per-centage points above the Euro area average of 1.4%, according to The Economist.

Contrasting with Spain, low TV ad growth in the U.K., France, Germany and Italy “is partly a reaction to 2004, which was extremely strong for TV in these markets, and the markets are also more mature, and the money is getting allocated out of TV,” said Barnard.

Spain’s TV ad honeymoon is mellow-ing but not over. “It’s early to predict, but signs are that the market, barring major disasters, will grow again in 2006,” Villa commented.

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