Mari-Liis Rüütsalu, CEO of Ekspress Grupp, which operates the Delfi portal as well as the daily Eesti Päevaleht and the weeklies Eesti Ekspress and Maaleht, told ERR that things were going very well. After the big scare of the last year, online advertising has actually increased and it is in all countries [Ekspress Grupp operates in] – in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. “

The group will announce its latest financial results on the stock market at the end of this month, which means it cannot say more at this point about how the second quarter will unfold, she said, but was able to say that : “Among many other types of media, digital media have gained even more speed. If we take the volume of the Baltic advertising market, it has not increased significantly. However, more money certainly has flocked to digital channels than to other channels.

Online ad sales fell sharply at the start of the pandemic, only to recover

While Estonia saw the biggest drop in online ad sales of the three Baltic states at the start of the pandemic, local advertisers have somewhat closed the gap on tech giants.

The Ekspress Group announced that it achieved overall sales at pre-pandemic levels last fall.

Print media, on the other hand, were in poor shape, in part because of delivery costs, before the pandemic anyway.

The coronavirus-hit year of 2020 saw the advertising market shrink by nearly 20%, and although the recovery has been recorded since then, Meelis Järvela, head of media and advertising firm Inspired Universal McCann, says that ‘he sees no major changes in the advertising market, and that caution should be exercised.

Any recovery can look good when the baseline is low

Järvela said: “Go ask the print media if they are doing well. They are not doing so well. Then ask the TV stations if they have achieved their business goals, their budgets.”

As for the continuation of the recovery, Järvela said: “It is a question of interpretation. I can tell you here what happened in the previous crisis. In the second year [after the crisis hit], [business daily] Äripäev said that this year we will earn 10% more. But if you consider that in the previous year it fell from 100 million to 30 million – in the days of crowns – and we would be making 33 million the next year, on the one hand, it may seem great that we do 10% better, but on the other hand, it’s still a deficit of 67 million [on the pre-crisis figure]”.

Facebook, Google and other advertisers outside Estonia were the only ones who managed to increase their turnover in the relevant area in 2020.

2021 better than 2020

Market research firm Kantar Emor carried out a detailed study of the Estonian advertising market and found that national advertising fell by 17% last year.

As for 2021, Margo Veskimägi, the company’s Baltic region manager, said the plan was to paint a more detailed picture of the first half of the year in the coming weeks.

While Ekspress Grupp, which also operates in Latvia and Lithuania, said its revenue was down slightly from the first quarter of 2021, ad sales were buoyant.

Postimees Grupp, which owns the daily paper of the same name, as well as its regional variants, as well as the Kanal 2 TV channel and Kuku Raadio, reported the same, with CEO Andrus Raudsalu saying there was: “There is still work to be done; There will be no French windows. Let’s say it’s a normal good year, of course better than last year. “

Ad sales fell 20% last year, but rose 30% in the first half of this year, he said.

The restrictions had an effect on the type of product or service advertised

Meanwhile, Ekspress Grupp’s Mari-Liis Rüütsalu said it is not yet clear how much advertising money will flow from Estonia into the pockets of US advertising giants like Facebook and Google, although figures for Latvia to be available, she said, putting foreign advertising sellers at 260 million euros per year, compared to 80 million euros for domestic advertisers.

Andrus Raudsalu said the TV commercial worked very well, but at the same time the impression was not completely out of the window.

At the same time, the types of advertising often reflect the current state of the pandemic and its restrictions, he said. “The return of hosting services has yet to be seen, but events are back, which also makes sense.”

The Ekspress Group also sees a boon in advertising from event organizers, with dozens of displays per weekend, said Mari-Liis Rüütsalu, although in terms of turnover, e-commerce is very high. most important,

On the flip side, concrete sellers like auto retailers have seen the opposite situation and have pulled ads, mostly due to a lack of new car supplies, she said.

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