With digital out of home predicted to hit 40% of outdoor media spend by next year (AA/Warc), 2016 has seen outdoor media owners battling over their shares. Exterion won the world’s largest outdoor contract from TfL, and a £100m investment is expected to go towards upgrading the network’s advertising infrastructure. Despite losing this contest, JCDecaux has drawn up a battle plan to become the fourth largest media owner in the country by hitting the 1 billion eyeball mark – though the LDN 6-sheet phase out is already 500 screens behind schedule. Alongside the big two, Primesight unveiled LinkUK, a plan for London’s streets and a new small format import from New York. From Clear Channel and others, expect to see more Wi-Fi hotspots and information points next year as outdoor owners look to “add value” to their portfolio.
2016 was an eventful year for national press, with the market seeing titles launch, close, and even change hands. We saw the closure of the Independent, the launch (and just nine weeks later, the closure) of New Day, and the i move to Johnston Press. Despite all of the above, the biggest news of 2016 was Project Juno and the planned consolidation of national press sales houses to combat the emphatic rise of digital powerhouses. Next year will see the major players make a yes or no decision, in what could be the biggest evolution of print since the Gutenberg press.
This year became a battleground for BBC and commercial radio, as they jostled more closely than ever for the number one spot on the airwaves. In February, the reach of commercial radio overtook that of the BBC for the first time in 15 years, and they went tit-for-tat in subsequent RAJAR surveys. Further fuelling this year’s success for commercial radio, the second commercial DAB multiplex launched with 18 stations in February – a combination of wider-reaching existing stations, and some brand-new ones, including Mellow Magic and Virgin Radio.
This year saw the changing of hands of many BBC television classics; Paul Hollywood was the last man standing as Great British Bake Off moved to Channel 4, Will.i.am took The Voice to ITV for early 2017 and Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May took Top Gear on a Grand Tour to Amazon. In sport, ITV took the horse racing reins from Channel 4. But the channel fought back as Steve Jones headlined C4’s new Formula One coverage and its Rio Paralympics reporting excelled once more. Money talked as 21st Century Fox made a £18.5bn offer to acquire Sky, and viewing habits continued to change as viewing figures for video-on-demand increased yet again.
2016 was predicted to be a tough year for cinema , and yet, the box office remains on course to match 2015’s figure of 172m admissions. This year saw the rise of 18 certificate movies, with Deadpool and Girl on the Train breaking several records; 50 Shades Darker is expected to continue the trend of commercially successful adult blockbusters in 2017. Also this year, the gold spot was sold on a film-by-film basis for the first time. This allowed brands to ‘own’ select films – an opportunity previously unavailable due to a long-term deal with Orange. 4DX has also seen a surge in popularity – and is a trend to watch in 2017 – with Cineworld’s immersive format installed in cinemas nationwide. Finally, this month DCM poached the luxury cinema chain Everyman from Pearl & Dean, increasing its share of market to 81%, and strengthening its position as the largest media owner in the market.
Distracting us all from another year of mobile, 2016 saw the influencer marketing sky rocket in the digital sphere. Lending digital advertisers credibility and an ability to reach new audiences, influencers allowed advertisers to react to trends and engage with users in a fresh and exciting way. Alongside this, augmented reality took off this year, with AR/VR offering brands an ability to showcase innovative content. Never far away from the headlines over the last 12 months has been the pursuit of transparency in digital; with big investigations into rebates and kickbacks already underway, we are expecting this story to roll on into 2017.