The third quarter ad revenue results for the major television broadcasters were released not long ago and showed things were slowly moving back to the level of the glory days. At the time, we couldn't get hold of New Zealand Television Broadcaster's Council chief exec Rick Friesen, but he called back and, while he wasn't able to discuss results of specific broadcasters, he was able to shed some light on a few interesting sectoral trends.
The biggest increases in ad spend, he says, were in the highly competitive telecommunications, energy and retail categories. With more telcos now in the market, he says there was a lot more jostling for position, which obviously led to a lot more advertising and an increase of around 30 percent over the last quarter (speaking of telcos, check out Telecom's new building).
The next biggest improver was retail, with a 16 percent rise, which Friesen puts down to the array of 'beat the GST rise' promotions (the consumers responded, apparently) and automotive also increased.
At the other end of the spectrum, he says clothing and toys were both down a bit, although that should change for toys in the next quarter with the Christmas push still to come.
Overall, the TV revenue of $164 million is up from the same quarter last year when it was $148 million. It's now almost back to 2006 levels, but it's still $28 million behind the third quarter of 2007. Interestingly, the figures provided by the broadcasters don't include advertising spend on catch-up services, despite the fact the networks (mostly TVNZ) are developing new advertising products to tap into the rise in online viewing. And Friesen can't imagine this revenue ever being added to the figures.
Despite the internet threat and the digital evangelists who believe TV is dying a horrible death, Friesen points to Nielsen research that shows 99 percent (yes, 99 percent) of all viewing of video around the world, including YouTube and other online options, is still done through a TV monitor.