1. UK ad spend hits £6bn in first quarter
UK ad spend climbed by 4.2% to reach £6bn during the first quarter, marking the 23rd consecutive quarter of market growth. However, this was half a percentage point below the forecast growth and down on the 5.9% increase seen in the same period last year.
The report now forecasts that spend this year will increase 4.6% to £24.6bn, below the 6.2% growth seen in 2018. Growth in 2020 is expected to be 5.3%.
Online advertising saw some of the fastest growth, with online radio the standout as spend increased 26.5% year on year in the first quarter. TV video-on-demand saw growth of 17.5% and digital out-of-home 10.9%.
Across ‘traditional’ formats, cinema saw “respectable” growth of 12.3% and outdoor was up 6.8%. However, TV fell into decline, with investment dropping 2.5%, while direct mail, national news brands, magazine brands and radio all dropped.
Source: Advertising Association
2. Commercial radio hits record audience
Commercial radio hit a record audience of 36.1 million during the second quarter of 2019. That figure means 1.7 million more people are listening to commercial radio stations than BBC stations, the widest ever gap between the two.
The share of hours claimed by commercial radio also rose 2.3% year on year from 45.7% to 48%, while the average weekly hours increased to 13.5, up from 13.1 during the same period in 2018.
The share of listening on connected devices – online and via apps – grew by 34.4% year on year, with its market share rising to 12.5%, from 9.3% a year ago. The digital share of all radio listening rose to 56%, compared to 50.2% in the second quarter of last year.
The statistics show 48.8 million adults, or 89% of the UK adult population aged 15 and over, listened to the radio each week in the second quarter of 2019. Some 36 million adults, or two thirds of the adult population, listen to radio via a digitally enabled platform (DAB, DTV, online or app) each week.
Furthermore, 27.5% of all adults claim to listen to live radio via a smartphone or tablet at least once a month. Some 26% of adults claim to own a voice activated speaker like a Google Home or Amazon Echo, 94% of whom have used it to listen to live radio.
3. Consumer confidence sees summer boost
Consumer confidence rallied in July as all but one of the measures received a summer boost.
The overall index score was up by two points compared to the previous month, although it remains in negative territory on -11 and below last year’s level of -10.
Shopper sentiment saw the biggest jump, increasing by six points compared to both June 2019 and to July 2018, with the major purchase index reaching a score of four.
There has also been a climb in consumers’ feeling about their personal financial situation. Those feeling like it has improved over the past 12 months are up two points to a score of one, while those who expect their financial situation to get better over the next 12 months was up five points to seven.
Perceptions about the general economic situation over the past 12 months were flat in July compared to the previous month and down four points compared to a year ago.
There was a slight rise in feelings about the general economic situation over the next 12 months, but with a score of -32 this measure is still very much in negative territory.
4. Ad blocking growth slows
The number of people blocking ads across the UK, US, France and Germany is slowing.
One in four internet users in the US will block ads on at least one of their internet devices this year. Of the four countries, Germany currently has the highest concentration of ad blocking users, with 32.8% of internet users using some form of ad blocking this year.
In 2018, it was predicted that 75.4 million US internet users would block ads this year, but that forecast has dropped to 73.2 million. This figure still represents an increase of more than three million new ad blocking users this year.
Desktop and laptop are where most ad blocking occurs likely because it’s harder to block ads on smartphones since most activity takes place within individual apps.
When users in the UK, France and Germany were asked why they block ads, most say it’s because there are too many ads online, or they find ads to be annoying or irrelevant.
5. UK sees worst July for new car sales since 2012
The UK’s new car market declined again in July, seeing just 157,198 registrations – a drop of 4.1%. This makes July the fifth consecutive month of decline and the slowest July for sales since 2012.
Declines were seen across all sectors, with private demand falling 2.0% while deliveries for fleet and business customers were down 4.7% and 22.5% respectively.
Analysts blame the ongoing sales decline on political and economic turmoil, as well as general confusion over future government policies on different fuel types.
However, there was one positive taken from the July data. Demand for battery electric vehicles shot up by 158.1%, resulting in a 1.4% market share, the highest monthly market share on record.
Sales for electric cars also jumped by 34.2%.
Electric cars are expected to double their market share next year, though they will still only account for just over 2% of the market.
Source: Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)