Steve Allen's 2021 forecasts and briefing to clients

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 27 January 2021
Steve Allen

Media industry analyst Steve Allen, Pearman's director of strategy and research, this week started a round of briefings with clients, offering his take on the year ahead and detailed forecasts on segments following the pandemic year 2020.

His opening line: “2021 of course will be a far better year than 2020, and for every medium, but that does not say much.”

Advertising revenue, Allen and other analysts agree, will not recover all that was lost from 2019 until 2022.

Allen put the rise in 2021 across the board at 5%. This is lower than Zenith at 8% growth and Magna at 11%. 

“Each medium will increase ad revenue,” he says. 

“We forecast the biggest recoveries will be television, outdoor, radio and internet

“Newspapers occupy a greater share of tourism and travel, 12.5% of ad revenue, so this will hold their recovery back more than others

“The travel and clothing/accessories categories will likely subdue recovery for magazines.

“PayTV, in our view, will all be based on audience performance, recently not good

“Cinema will similarly be largely based on Box Office.”

The headlines from Allen's client presentation: 

  • This was a simply remarkable year in Media
  • All Mediums suffered in Advertiser revenue, even Digital
  • A couple catastrophic…. Cinema and Outdoor, but also Magazines not that far behind
  • Audience wise many media fared well, not the least of which was FTA TV, +1.38% All Adults 18+, and naturally Internet, +1.13% All Adults 18+
  • We searched for escape and entertainment as we spent more time at home
  • Metropolitan Newspapers considerably lowered their loss rate, from strong double digits previous few years, to just -2.60%
  • In lockdowns and most of the CBD workforce WFH, a thirst for information, news and entertainment, drove this recovery

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