In 2021, the second year of the pandemic, the Romanian media market reached the value of 601 million euros, following a dynamic recovery of +26%. The astonishing evolution of the market has been fueled by the relaxation of population mobility restrictions and fluid economic activity.
The Media Fact Book analysis estimates that, by the end of 2022, the total media market will reach 640 million euros, with an increase of 6% compared to 2021, including an estimated +20% increase in the digital sector.
“I’m glad to see that Romania exceeds the growth pace of the global advertising industry. 2021 was downright spectacular both globally (+23%), and in Romania (+26%), the media market considerably exceeded the initial estimates. We expect this pace to slow significantly in 2022 due to the reaction of our industry to the crisis in Ukraine, but also to the global recession. The most spectacular increase in recent years is recorded in digital – with a dynamic of doubling the volumes between 2019 and 2022 – accelerated by the increase in the adoption level of online commerce among consumers”, said Alexandra Olteanu, Managing Director Initiative Romania.
At the end of 2021, the digital market reached an estimated value of 186 million euros, representing almost a third (31%) of the total local media market. The digitization process started in 2020 was also supported in 2021 by the increase in the use of mobile devices, so that the dynamics of the digital area remained at a very high level (+56%). 2021 is the year of consolidated trends and digitization for new territories and categories of consumers. The gap between urban and rural areas in terms of internet access is decreasing, at only 4%, according to the National Institute of Statistics. The senior segment of the population (55-74 years old) recorded an 8% increase in internet use compared to the previous year. We expect that in 2022 digital will register a new increase of 20%, thus reaching 35% of the media volume in Romania. We are still far behind the global market, which this year has a 65% share in digital. Therefore, there is enough space for digital to grow in the coming years over the general evolution of the market.
The TV channels’ audience in 2021 has maintained on a downward trend, with an average rating of -8% compared to 2020, while the budgets invested have recovered to a growing trend, bringing increased market demand and putting the cost of exposure under inflationary pressure. This trend has also been supported by iconic sports events, such as Euro 2020 and the Summer Olympics, which have been suspended in 2020 and rescheduled for 2021. The net value of TV advertising in 2021 had an increase of 16%, reaching 350 million euros and accounting for 58% of the total media market. We expect the year 2022 to bring a cap on the budgets invested in TV amid the fact that there is a lack of predictability in marketing departments for economic development and a constant threat to the population level of consumption fueled by an unprecedented inflationary wave.
As for the OOH market, after being heavily affected by lockdown and continuous mobility restrictions in 2020, in 2021 it has recovered significantly. The segment recorded advertising revenues of 30 million euros, +23% compared to 2020, representing 5% of the media market.
Radio stations have easily adapted their schedules and have switched from a more factual broadcast structure in 2020, to relaxed content focused on entertainment & leisure. The year 2021 reflected a remarkable recovery for the radio industry, which grew by 21% compared to 2020, to an estimated net value of 29 million euros.
In 2022, we estimate that the market will register a new increase of 6% based specifically on the growth in digital – the growth is much slower in the context of an economic environment with a lower growth than in 2021, but also with a galloping inflation that erodes from the population purchasing power.
The categories that will continue to contribute to maintaining the media market on a positive trend are: betting, e-commerce, retail, construction and financial. While FMCG, healthcare, auto will be under the pressure of rising supply costs and general inflation – recording lower increases or even decreases.
The information has been extracted from the Media Fact Book, the only analysis report of the Romanian media and advertising market, a guide edited annually by the Initiative agency, since 1997. The full study can be viewed and downloaded in digital format on www.mediafactbook.ro.