Advertising back on growth track

The various forms of digital advertising were particularly popular among advertisers.

The volume of advertising started to grow in 2010 as the overall economy began to recover. According to the Finnish Advertising Council, the value of advertising grew 4.8% to M€ 1,346.9 from the exceptionally low level of 2009. Of the various media groups, advertising in television grew the most in 2010.

Businesses in retail sales were the most important advertisers in Finland in 2010. Espe-cially recruitment announcements (+31.8%) and car advertising (+13.3%) increased their expenditure.

Advertising in newspapers increased by 2.4% and in local and free issue papers by 8.1%. Printed newspapers were still the largest advertising media by value. Alma Media estimates that the market share of the Group’s newspapers was approximately one fifth of all newspaper advertising.

Display advertising more popular than
search engine advertising

The volume of online advertising started to grow towards the end of 2010 and clearly exceeded the pre-downturn level. For the first time, Finnish online advertising exceeded the milestone of M€ 200. Display advertising was the biggest winner with a growth of 35.9%. Investments in search engine advertising grew by 30.7% and classified online advertising by 14.0% from 2009. The expenditure for online directories decreased.

Alma Media’s share of the Finnish display and classified online advertising market is approximately one third and its share of all web advertising (including, in addition to the aforementioned, search engine advertising and online directories) approximately one seventh.

Iltalehti.fi established its status as the largest online service in Finland. Its weekly visitor count was nearly 2.7 million at best (unique browsers). Kauppalehti.fi and Aamulehti.fi also broke their visitor records during the year.

The rapid increase in the popularity of the online services of regional newspapers proves that the position a newspaper holds in its community is valid also online. For instance, the online service of Aamulehti has today over five times more visitors than three years ago. Online service does not decrease the readership of a printed paper. On the contrary, it attracts new audiences to enjoys media content. Therefore, the overall reach is now higher than ever and advertising in printed newspaper and online service complement each other.

Readerships on a good level

Even though there is a slight general decreasing trend in the circulation of Finnish newspapers, the readership of newspapers has remained nearly unchanged.

Alma Media’s regional and local newspapers also lost some of their circulation in 2010. Single-copy sales of Iltalehti decreased by 5.5% in 2010, while the total market value of afternoon papers decreased by 2.8%. The market share of Iltalehti was 41.9% at the end of the year (compared to 42.9% in 2009).

For additional information on the circulation and print volumes of Alma Media’s papers as well as the numbers of visitors to the web services, see www.almamedia.fi/circulations_and_print-runs.

Outlook for 2011

According to the advertising barometer of the Association of Finnish Advertisers, the volume of advertising will continue to grow in 2011. In total, 43% of advertisers plan to increase their expenditure in marketing communications during 2011, while 47% intends to keep the investment at the level of 2010. Advertisers are now especially interested in the various forms of digital media – display advertising, classified online advertising and mobile advertising – as well as TV advertising. Almost all plan to utilize social media in their marketing communications. Integrating social media into the overall marketing and communications concept is, however, still somewhat unclear to the advertisers.

Sources: Finnish Advertising Council; The Association of Finnish Advertisers; IAB Finland; KMT Lukija autumn 2009/ spring 2010, TNS Gallup Oy; TNS Media Intelligence; Alma Media
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