Price-Performance Index from LSA and SWA: Inflation in "Paid Media"?

After many print titles significantly lost readers in the coronavirus year 2020, the index for the 84 publications in the basket rose by 8%. In television, the index for 15-49-year-olds rose by 6% due to forecast adjustments. Only Out of Home saw a slight fall in the index this year. 

LSA und SWASince 2017, the Swiss Advertising Client Association (SWA) and Leading Swiss Agencies (LSA) have been collecting and publishing a price-performance index for media contacts. In doing so, the two associations want to make a joint contribution to transparency in the Swiss media business.

In 2020, the year of the pandemic, many newspapers and magazines saw a significant drop in readership. This had an impact of 6% to 10% on the index in the three parts of the country. Magazines, which were probably distributed less or were no longer accessible in waiting rooms, for example, were hit particularly hard. This resulted in falling readership figures and thus an increase in the index of +12.2% for women's magazines and +12.9% for magazines. The daily press also rose sharply in the index by +16.3%. This had a somewhat less pronounced effect on the Sunday press +4.9% and regional weekly press +6%. Only the consumer press was 0.5% cheaper.

In television, the index is based on the broadcasters' planned values and not on the actual results achieved. Compared to the previous year, planned contact prices in 2021 remained stable among 15-59-year-olds and rose by a total of +6.2% among 15-49-year-olds. Inflation was significantly higher for individual channels in the 2nd half of 2021. At +8.8%, the price/performance increase in the same target group is also significantly higher in German-speaking Switzerland. In French-speaking Switzerland, the index for 15-49-year-olds remained stable and in Ticino it fell by -2%.

The index for Out of Home (OOH, analog) shows a decline of around 1% in prices/services. During the decline in mobility, marketers also granted additional discounts that are not included in the index. Price/performance trends for digital out-of-home advertising (DOOH) are still not included in the index.

Inflation is therefore evident this year on the basis of the official prices for many print titles and the planned values for individual TV channels. Ringier Advertising has announced that it will adjust the gross prices for individual titles in 2022. This is a demand that the SWA has already voiced several times.

The two associations LSA and SWA are concerned about the current price trend in television. In particular, many TV channels marketed by Goldbach are planning to increase their prices significantly for 2022. In German-speaking Switzerland in particular, with inflation in the planned target group of 15-49 year-olds ranging from 10% to over 20% in some cases. These price developments are damaging the TV genre and could lead to shifts in the media mix.

All results and charts here SWA-LSA_MPLI-Charts_2021

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