Get out your crystal ball: Here is a 2021 Media Forecast!

To say we were happy to put 2020 in the rearview mirror and begin 2021 with a hope for brighter and healthier days would be an understatement.  MAGNA intelligence released their 2021 media spend forecast revealing a positive prediction for the year ahead with estimated investment growth of 4.4%.  But which economic indicators from 2020 will remain, and for how long?  As the saying goes, the devil is in the details.

A growth rate of 5% is predicted for National TV with the assumption that the Olympics will take place, and that more sporting events will come back.  However, MAGNA projects a decrease of 20% for local TV due to lack of political spend.  Radio is projected to stabilize after taking a hit in 2020.  The story for out of home is positive, with a projected growth of 11%.  Linear media is projected to decline by 3% while digital media sees an 8% increase.

Economic indicators such as real GDP, inflation, personal consumption, and unemployment show positive trends in the latest predictions.  Consumer sentiment is stabilizing during the COVID recession faster than past recessions.

With all these forecasted ups and downs, what are the key takeaways for 2021?  They are focused on:

  • Ecommerce growth – sales grew 44% during lockdown but decreased post lockdown to 23% growth. Businesses must have their ecommerce strategies aligned for the growth and adoption rate of these new consumers.
  • Tech Marketing – no 2021 forecast is complete without mentioning the impact of 5G services. Smart homes, game consoles, and web services will be extremely competitive and push innovation in 2021.
  • Sportsad spending and sports go hand in hand. As normalcy returns, some of the “postponed” ad spending will   be re-invested in the marketplace.  This will increase demand and drive pricing up again.  The Olympics will be a good pricing barometer for this in 2021.
  • Digital consumption patterns – cord cutting will continue and OTT video patterns will increase. Post lockdown changes will become permanent lifestyle changes that will take digital ad spending to double digital growth.

A new year usually means a fresh start, a new beginning!  But in some cases, 2021 will be more of a continuation than a new beginning.   We start 2021 different than other years.  We are hesitant and weary.  We are tired and confined.  We have questions about the vaccine.  We miss our water cooler chats.  We ponder the political climate.  We wonder what to watch on Netflix.  We start the year different than other years……Happy 2021– let’s see where this ride takes us!

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