FOR 2016


MEDIA 2010 2010



2011 2011


2012 2012


2013 2013


2014 2014


2015 2015


2016 2016


€M €M €M €M €M €M €M

TELEVISION 234 2% 218 -7% 203 -7% 194 -4% 204 5% 216 6% 220 2%


(excl. mobile)

108 11% 131 21% 152 16% 174 15% 197 18% 225 14% 266 18%

MOBILE 1.5 8 533% 13 63% 34 162%

PRINT 269 -15% 238 -12% 199 -16% 175 -12% 164 -6% 156 -5% 153 -2%

RADIO 118 -6% 106 -10% 96 -9% 86 -10% 86 0% 90 4% 93 3%

OOH 64 -2% 57 -9% 54 -7% 58 8% 62 6% 76 14% 80 5%

CINEMA 7 0% 7 0% 7 0% 7 -3% 6 -5% 6 0% 6 0%

TOTAL 800 -5% 757 -6% 711 -6% 696 -2% 727 4% 782 8% 851 9%




The economy has recovered remarkably well and is growing at a rate that no one thought achievable even

12 months ago. We can also look forward to major events in 2016 with will contribute to economic and

advertising growth – the 1916 celebrations, a general election, the European Soccer Championships with

Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales participating and the Olympics and Paralympics.

Consumers continue to be way ahead of organisations, advertisers and brands in their adoption of

technology and new ways of doing things. A tipping point has been reached in terms of the ubiquitous use

of mobile devices and the increased role of ecommerce in consumer’s lives. Brands, products and services

are going to have to change and adapt very quickly or they will be left behind. It is clear that mobile is going

to become an increasingly important part of brands media mix and dominate into the future. The focus

for advertisers needs to move away from the device itself to the capacity of a mobile device to connect

brands and commerce. And because it is the ability of media to connect brands and commerce, media will

increasingly become more valuable to brands because the contribution that media makes is much more

visible, more immediate and most importantly, more measurable than ever before.

The pace of change, the incredible array of opportunities for advertisers to connect their brands with

consumers and the increased demands on measuring the impact of communications on business results

means there has never been a more challenging yet exciting time to be working in this industry.

The following pages outline the developments in media that we expect in 2016. I hope you find this

document useful. If you wish to discuss any topics raised, please call me on 01 271 2139.

Best wishes for the year ahead,

Ciaran Cunningham,

Chief Executive,

Carat Ireland.






The top social media platforms continue to

dominate the entire social space. They are still

agile enough to change and adapt to meet the

user’s needs. It is doubtful that 2016 will be

awash with more social networks, but as always,

the ones we have now will be unrecognisable in

12 months’ time.


For a long time you have heard how

social is a visual experience. First images,

now video and gif are at the forefront.

Social shopping completely plays into this

experience and really helps bring social

media to life. We are only at the tip of the

importance of social recommendations as

shopping and social merge.

By the end of 2016 all the major social

platforms will have shopping integrated.

In the US, if you see a blue price tag on

Pinterest pin it means you can buy the

product. Payments can be made via Apple

Pay or credit card and will be stored to

your profile. Facebook are already testing

shopper ads in the UK. They will act in

a similar way to Instant Articles, loading

faster and keeping users on the platform

for longer. There is no doubt but they are

taking learnings from Amazon who is the

Kings of shopper usability.


The audience on each social channel is

different. They expect to see channel

specific content delivered to them on

each platform. Up until now brands have

tried to be across multiple platforms and

deliver the same content each time.

In 2016 they will realise this doesn’t

work. We will see brands move away

from their poorest performing social

network and concentrate on higher

performing platforms. Not one platform

will necessarily win out; it will depend on

the social strategy, KPI’s and goals.


What if you could do everything within

your social media platform? Never having

to leave it for functions that you usually go

to dedicated websites for?

As these platforms diversify this certainly

seems to be the aim. Facebook articles

will be more prevalent next year so you

know longer need to leave to read news

or catch up on what’s going on. Facebook

have also started to test a new virtual

assistant, called M that completes tasks

and finds information for you.

Why would you visit a restaurants website

and book a table if M would do it for you

within the platform? We are sure that

Facebook will be eager to role this out on a

wider scale in 2016 as they want to collect

as much data on their users as possible.


Social media has always been a live

platform. It has changed the way people

discover world events and share what is

happening in their day to day. However,

some of the content is shared after the

fact, rather than truly in the moment.

2016 will have an explosion of live content.

Brands will have to adapt to this, with the

standard content calendar not cutting

it anymore. Periscope will be a huge

driver behind this, users already watch

40 years of video each day. Facebook

Live, a video streaming feature, is set to

gain more momentum as it makes it so

easy for people to produce engaging

video content.

Snapchat is already a leader in this

space; we can’t help but feel they are only

scratching the service in their offering


Brands will be knocking down the door

of all these platforms as they understand

that users still want to be the first one

amongst their peers to discover and

share the latest news.



Google is still the King of Search

but Social will close the gap in 2016.

People are turning to Facebook, Twitter,

Pinterest and Youtube to answer their

pressing questions. The mix of customer

reviews and “how to” videos are proving

to be the perfect formula for users.

It is a really rich experience for users

who are in control of the content they

consumer. SEO and Social Media can’t

stand as two separate departments,

they need to work together to deliver

the best results.

By the end of 2016 all the major social platforms will have

E-commerce integrated into their offering.

Both SEO and social media are built on

the same foundation of quality content.

It will be more cost effective for them

to work together to produce the right

content once, rather than separately.

Social platforms are well aware of this

trend and we predict that 2016 will

see the roll out of sponsored searches.

This is bound to be a huge revenue

source and one they will not ignore for

too much longer.






With latest IAB findings showing that web traffic on

smartphones in Ireland is almost 33% higher than the EU

average, 2016 will see brands attempt to strike a balance

between increased inventory volumes and the ever growing

threat of ad blockers, by producing richer and more relevant

ads on mobile, that help rather than disturb the user.



Historically, only mobile web content was

searchable on mobile search while ‘in-app’

content was not. In an effort to resolve this

Google began indexing App content two

years ago with the purpose of making ‘inapp’

content more findable in search. Two

years on, over 100 billion deep-links into

Apps have been indexed by both Google

(App Indexing API) and Apple (Search

APIs). This means that users searching

can find the best results whether they are

in App or on mobile web. 2016 will see

content become a bigger focus for brands

with apps, with the search engine now

finding specific app content in its searches

and linking the user directly into said app.

Once content is found users will have the

option to ‘stream’ an app for one time

usage rather than download fully thus

extending the potential reach of content

within brand Apps.

App check-out processes will need to

be simpler than ever to facilitate these

one-time users and 2016 will see App

SEO become a bigger focus for mobile

orientated brands.



The mobile attribution ecosystem

is maturing. While 2015 saw the

introduction of Click-to-Call search ads on

mobile, tracing the caller and sale back

to a particular search term, 2016 will see

attribution move into in-store purchase.

Brands are now purchasing sophisticated

CRM systems linking their paid search

accounts with loyalty card scheme

user data.

This means that if a customer is logged

into their loyalty account when they use

desktop or mobile to research a product

but follow up with the purchase in-store,

brands can now attribute this sale to the

first touch on that device.



With in-store research (14%) now the

second most frequent research related

activity carried out by shoppers, brands

are now giving consumers the option

to finish the purchase process on their

mobile while in store. Major retailers such

as Amazon, Walmart, Starbucks and

Samsung are expanding their ecommerce

offering to include mobile payments and

we can expect to see a more streamlined

process of this for smaller brands in 2016.

The benefits to retailers are faster check

out processes in store and the ability to

integrate in-store sales with their loyalty

schemes. These benefits coupled with

offers like mobile couponing and the

increase adoption of ad formats with the

‘Buy Now’ option will see mobile payments

become more common ground this year.




App strategies have long evolved from a

simple acquisition strategy looking for the

‘cheapest’ cost per download to one of

quality downloads. A “quality” user is one

who uses the App at least 3 times after the

initial download. 2016 will see specialist

mobile networks like YouAppi come to the

forefront of download acquisition. Using

new strategies called Cohort Analysis

functionality, they have direct relationships

with thousands of Apps and their

technology explores behavioural patterns

in similar App users.

Through over 15 different data points

including in app purchase trends, they

generate audience segments that are more

likely to download a particular genre of App

and ultimately, focus on post install activity

and in app purchases. User retention rather

than Acquisition will become the focus for

Irish brands with apps in 2016.




Up until now, smaller local businesses have

not been able to compete in the online

ad space unless they have a best in class

organic social strategy. In 2016, expect to

see more locally relevant ads appear from

a wider selection of brands.

With the introduction of Facebook local

awareness Ads and Google’s local ad

extensions, small business will be much

more efficient with their online spend,

competing with larger retailers and

supermarkets with a stronger SOV in their

locality. Even mobile display advertising

is progressing with mobile media

networks introducing geo-fencing of store

perimeters. This will mean that brands

will now be able to attribute someone

clicking on a mobile Ad against actual

store footfall, validating marketing budget

in the process.



2015 year saw a huge growth in mobile video

ad spend thanks to the advances of autoplay

formats across social. On Desktop,

the big advance in 2015 was in richer

interactive online video formats, brands

utilised VPaid technologies to contend with

display advertising rich media. 2016 will

see the rise in rich mobile video as brands

try to cut through in a space now cluttered

due to increased inventory and spends.

Facebook’s new 360i video will lead the

way with its virtual reality-lite offering

(which launched last September), allowing

users to engage more with the video


Mobile couponing and the increase in ad formats will see mobile

payments become more commonplace in 2016.



Then in September, Flash was replaced

with HTML5. This was one of those big

fierce dogs with a bite absolutely as bad

as its bark as creative studios struggled to

adjust. Also in September, Apple changed

the game too by removing the barriers

for app developers and paved the way for

them to build apps with “content blocking”

functionality for iOS mobile devices. Apple

mobile users can now block most ads and

user tracking mechanisms on websites and

the industry will have to adjust to this over

time. Some big changes in 2015 and we

expect more in 2016.


If 2015 was the year of the GIF, 2016

will be the year of the cinemagraph and

the 3D image. A cinemagraph or ‘living

image’ is like a GIF, where only a part of

the image moves. It will surely appeal to

the higher end brands hoping to stand out

from the crowd.






2015 was an eventful year in performance digital. Apart from the usual

blistering pace of technological change, there were some specific ‘gamechangers’…Some

of which disrupted the way we do business and some

which had barks that were worse than their bites.

In April Google changed its search algorithm to favour mobile friendly sites

in smartphone search results. Although the industry worried about the

impact this might have had, it was not the ‘mobilegeddon’ that was hyped.

Instagram videos are now set to play on

a loop, allowing for cinemagraphs to play

continuously. 3D images will become

commonplace in 2016 and 360 o has been

introduced into the US market where a

select number publishers like VICE and

GoPro have been sharing 360 o videos.

On mobile, we will be able to watch from

different angles by dragging our fingers or

by tilting our phones.

With these and a wide range of other inapp

functionality planned, in the near

future a user could potentially meet a lot

of their online needs without ever leaving

the Facebook platform, making it an evermore

attractive platform for advertisers.


2015 was a big year in the world of display

advertising with the aforementioned

migration to HTML5. We know that

HTML5 offers added security, but

another key advantage is how flexible

and adaptable it is across any screen.

As a result as 2016 unfolds we expect

dynamic ads to gain increased traction

with advertisers.

Although adblocking usage has always

been increasing across desktop, it was

the enhanced ad-blocking functionality

introduced into Apple’s iOS 9, allowing

users to install ad blockers on their

smartphones and tablets, that has caused

increased discussion around adblocking.

As a result, the use of ad blocking is

expected to increase greatly in 2016, and

it is up to advertisers to devise solutions.

We believe we will see a significant rise in

native advertising and paid content.


2015 saw a watershed moment as

worldwide mobile searches exceeded

desktop. With mobile continuing to be the

driving force, Google has been investing

in an increasingly useful mobile search


Select markets can now access app content

without ever leaving Google Search. This

places Google Search at the centre of user

activity, and a central point for advertisers

to reach their audience bases.

We will certainly see more experimentation

from Google and its video options and it’s

only a matter of time before Purchases

on Google finally reaches our shores. This

will allow brands to offer an integrated

experience between the search intent,

the mobile experience, and the final

purchase. Google is taking a smart

decision to encourage retailers to deep

link apps, and consequently offer the

user and retailers increased engagement

for shopping apps. For 2016, we will see

more deep linking as Google maintains its

dominance in the market.


We believe the importance of programmatic

video will continue to grow in 2016 as it

offers a wider platform for businesses

to reach users across a wider array of

digital channels. Programmatic video

allows for more sophisticated targeting

capabilities, greater reach and improved

buying efficiencies. It allows businesses

to leverage quality inventory using first,

second and third party data in real time.

Programmatic video and the trend towards

more brand video partnerships means

that 2016 should see video ads begin to

dominate the digital landscape. Video

autoplay ads are already dominating our

Facebook and Twitter newsfeeds. The

amount of video in News Feeds globally

on Facebook has increased by 3.6 times

year on year and video posts per person

on Facebook have grown 75% year over

year. YouTube users continue to upload

and watch videos at an enormous rate with

one third of content in Ireland now over 20

minutes in length and users now spending

an average of 35 minutes a day viewing

content on YouTube.

Online Mobile video consumption

continues to increase dramatically and for

the first time some platforms are beginning

to see mobile surpass desktop views. In

2016, we predict that this phenomenal

growth will continue.

question is no longer whether online

video marketing is necessary for your brand

– it is now which video channels should

you use to reach the right audience, at the

right moment and with the right message.


Whilst technical optimisation is still

important, the story for organic search in

2016 will centre on the user. Actively using

intent research to understand what users

are interested in and the questions they

need answering will be at the centre of seo

development in 2016.

Brands and digital marketers in SEO have

developed inherent expertise to produce

high-quality, authentic, valuable content

for their customers and prospective


In 2016 the emphasis will develop into

content strategy rather than on content

generation. This means brands, using

data insight and creativity, will need to be

smarter about who their users are, what

content they want and need, and be able

to deliver it in a clear and clever way.

The use of ad blocking software will rise significantly in 2016 and

we will see a rise in native advertising and paid content.





Viewership across Dayparts




With a General Election, 1916 celebrations,

a Euro 2016 Championship including the

Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland,

England and Wales, The Olympics and the

Paralympics, it is going to be a fantastic year

for must see moments on television.

The great news for RTE is that the vast

majority of this years high profile events

will be broadcast on their stations. They

hold the broadcast rights for the major

sporting events and will be the broadcaster

of authority for the 1916 celebrations. It

will be very interesting to see how Liberty

Global, TV3’s new owners and ITV, UTV

Ireland’s new owners meet this challenge

in the year ahead.




VOD IN 2016

The AV market is looking very interesting,

not just for 2016, but beyond. We’re

fast approaching that tipping point in

how people are consuming what was

traditionally called ‘TV’.

It’s moving from the box in the corner of the

room, to the connected device wherever,

and the models we use to advertise to

people in this environment are being turned

upside down.

With a moderate up-take in advertiser

demand, RTE has published a 2016

advertising rate card showing an increase

in price of between 10% and 20%,

depending on the specific audience

in question. As people turn more and

more to other sources and devices for

entertainment, advertisers are being

asked to pay more for a reduced supply

of ratings.

Meanwhile in the other corner of the

living room, on the smart phone, tablet or

laptop, more and content is being viewed

online. VOD has reached two thirds of

the population in the last 6 months (IAB,

May 2015) and there have been 1.3BN

Youtube impacts for the first 9 months of

2015 (source: Google). The average length

of those Youtube views is 3.5mins, viewing

peaks in the evenings, like regular TV, but

outstrips regular TV during the day.

The science and challenge for us, is

balancing traditional and digital AV, to

maximize the metrics we can measure, like

reach and frequency and the qualitative

elements that are so important, but can

be so intangible.

At Carat we are developing a ‘TV Stack’

approach which challenges the ‘traditional

or linear TV topped up by online video’

model and asks the question – what if we

topped up online video with traditional

TV? In other words, if we started with

online video first and then considered

traditional TV – what would that look like?





24% 28%


We have exclusive access from Google to

their Youtube coverage data which allows

us make these analyses and give our

clients informed recommendations.




UTV Ireland was launched with much

fanfare in 2015 and it has been sold with

much less fanfare. Eir (previously with the

suffix ‘com’) has bought Setanta Sports

and Virgin Media (previously UPC) has

bought TV3. RTE is being outbid for live

sports, first the Rugby World Cup, now the

6 Nations from 2018.

Comreg tells us that there’s 150,000

Netflix subscribers in Ireland now and

some of them (14%) have stopped

watching live or scheduled TV and a lot

of them (43%) are watching less live TV.



6am - 9am - 12pm - 2pm - 5pm - 7pm - 11pm - 2am -

8.59am 11.59am 1.59am 4.59am 6.59am 10.59am 11.59am 5.59am






That’s 9% of all households in Ireland now

have Netflix and it jumps to 18% in Dublin.

In about 5 years from now, all AV

advertising will be served based on cookie

data (or at least subscriber data) and will

be bought across devices and platforms

(broadcasters, subscriptions services

etc) from one central buying point or

dashboard. We will have a myriad of data

points to evaluate the effectiveness of

these campaigns, from click-through, to

purchase, to viewability. Viewers won’t see

irrelevant ads, parents won’t see ads for the

latest sports coupe, young singles won’t

see ads for nappies and washing powder.

But right now we’re at that incredibly

interesting, but hugely challenging

moment, between the certainty of the old

TV model and the sophistication of the

new AV model.

All of which places more importance than

ever on the media agency to ensure these

models are balanced and maximized for


At Carat, we are developing “TV Stack” approach which challenges

the traditional TV/VOD buying model.





We used to call this section ‘Press’ and this year

we’re calling it ‘Publishing’, it just makes sense

as the boundaries blur. Both print and online are

facing the challenge of trying to monetize and

commercialize their product. They’re trying to

pay for the journalism and content they produce

through advertising and branded content, whilst

at the same time trying to attract and retain

readers and consumers.



For publishers that were born digital, they

have a lot fewer legacy costs, they’re

more agile and responsive and seeking

to grow rather than defend revenue. They

are in hyper-growth phase and perfectly

positioned to capitalize on the explosion in

mobile use. The Journal is a great example

of this with 430,000 daily readers, 1.5m

app downloads and most of their traffic

coming through mobile.

That’s about the same number of readers

as the Irish Times, when you combine

their print and digital daily reach (427,000

combined). The other titles within the

Distilled Group (, Daily Edge) and

the Maximum Media stable (Joe and Her)

are seeing similar growth levels. Of the

25% YoY ad spend growth reported in

October by the IAB, the majority (88%) is

being driven by mobile. Advertisers are

only beginning to tap into this and we see

continued growth in this area next year.



Whilst traditional print publishers are well

positioned to capitalize on this digital and

mobile led growth, given their strengths in

writing and reporting and their relationship

with their readers, it’s almost a pyrrhic

exercise from them.

Every euro they take in digital, seems to

be coming at the expense of their print

revenues – be it from copy sales (down 26%

for all dailies 2004-2014) or ad revenue.

Ad revenue decline has stabilized for

newspapers, but digital growth is masking

print decline. Online used to be the added

value included in a print package, where

more and more it’s the other way around.

More progressive newspapers are

ramping up their investment in account

management teams to support agencies

in activating integrated campaigns –

Independent News and Media being a

case in point.

The clear division between media booking

and creative ad copy supply no longer

applies when we’re producing integrated

print, online, social and native campaigns

and much greater support is needed for

agencies and brands.



The Irish Times brought in a pay-wall in

February, but are being very cagey about

their figures at time of writing. Whilst it’s

a great newspaper, with great content,

there’s a generation that are incredibly

reluctant to pay for their news. The Sun in

UK just tore down their pay wall and the

Irish Independent, having contemplated a

pay wall for a number of years, seems to

have cooled off entirely on the idea.



If most news is free, what could be cheaper

than free? Arguably ‘social publishing’,

where you don’t even have to leave

the social media platform and visit the

publisher, to read the article. The perfect

social media ‘closed-loop’, is ‘Facebook

Instant Articles’.

This is where Facebook has agreements

in place with a few multi-national quality

publishers (National Geographic, The

Atlantic etc) which allow Facebook to host

the content directly, facilitating quicker

load times and easier re-directing and

reading for users. The rub being of course

that the reader doesn’t enter the publisher

domain and therefore Facebook owns the

experience, and the majority of the value,

of the impression or visit.

Publishers talk about the front-door visitors

to their site (via website or dedicated app)

and the back-door visitors (via social), with

the former being much more valuable and

loyal for both publication and advertiser.

Driven by long load times and poor website

user experience, the advent of closed

ecosystems like Facebook instant articles

(where the user doesn’t have to leave the

platform) will continue to grow. This will be

a challenge for publishers going forward.



Fionnán Sheehan of INM spoke about

the rise of the multi-media reporter who

is expected to shoot and edit video and

photography, record audio and edit and

package it as well as write up the written

story. The same demands are being made

of agencies – multi-media solutions are

required to engage consumers. 2016

will see more and more blurring of the

distinction between print and digital


This will also drive more multi-media

publishing – both from a news and

advertising perspective.

We will all just have to work harder and

smarter to cut-through with consumers

who are just as sophisticated as any

piece of ad-blocking technology in

screening out what they don’t want to

see. But that’s always been the challenge.

More progressive publishers are ramping up their investment in teams

to support the activation of integrated campaigns.






Seven years of a recessionary market

meant radio stations had to raise their

game and offer more creative solutions

to advertisers, and it is fair to say that

radio land delivered. UTV were the market

pioneers shaking up the industry with a

consolidated sales offer 4 years ago and

others followed suit.

Media Central have done an exceptional

job at raising expectations of what a radio

station can deliver for brands in terms of

audience engagement and now offer video

content, production and social at the heart

of their offering. Radio stations need to

crack the engagement dilemma off air,

simply posting competitions to their social

pages is pointless as organic reach offers

little scale.

Radio still has the advantage of live

audience but the threat of new media

eating into their budgets is real and stations

need to leverage their social footprints at

scale to advertisers. Radio stations need to

find new innovative solutions for advertisers

and take their offering to another level.

Newstalk’s Off the Ball roadshow was a

great example of how radio stations can

challenge themselves and create original

and innovative engagement at scale for

advertisers. It took an outside broadcast to

a new level as they brought the show to a

full house in the 3 Arena.


2016 will see the radio measurement

contract (JNLR) going out to tender. It is

widely agreed among both key stations

and agencies that the current form of

methodology (day-after prompted recall

method) needs to be revamped. Whilst

nothing has been decided at this point, it

is expected that the new format will involve

some form of meter-based measurement

(similar to the system used to calculate

television ratings) but it remains to be seen

how such a system would work given that

so much radio is consumed out of home.

In addition there have been findings from

the US (where a meter-based system

is deployed) that such methodology

favours mainstream stations and

effectively kills niche stations as the data

is not robust enough, an argument that is

consistently made of the television ratings

measurement system.

It is likely that Ireland will adopt a hybrid

model metering the nationals and main

cities supporting with a “day-after” sweep

capturing the local and regional areas.


As radio listenership and measurement

continues to shift to digital formats we

can expect to see buying to shift likewise.

2016 will see an increase in agency

spends in programmatic radio. Ad-force

currently offer inventory programmatically

on Spotify, MixRadio and Tune In and

as more and more listenership shifts

to digital platforms we expect to see

traditional broadcasters offer digital

inventory either directly or through a

third party platform. 2016 and beyond

will also see an increase in the connected

car posing further headaches for Irish

stations. The majority of car manufacturers

now offer in-built dashboards featuring

pre-loaded music platforms.

Getting your app built into this dashboard

is a very difficult task as an Irish station

and with so much in-car listenership

it’s one that the industry has to solve.

The Irish radio player app was likely a

result of stations realising this future threat

and combining forces to protect the future

in-car reach of indigenous radio.


The radio industry has been lobbying

heavily for changes to the current

code, particularly around the areas of

sponsorship and commercially-orientated

content. It seems logical that the codes

need to be reviewed in order to keep up

with the rapid pace of change within the

advertising industry, and with consumer


Consumers are comfortable with

advertiser funded programmes and

are equally well versed on the area of

native content but radio stations are

still hamstrung by outdated restrictions

impacting on their ability to drive essential

commercial revenue needed to reinvest in

their platforms.

The BAI will publish an initial draft of a

new code in 2016 which will then be

opened up for public consultation

meaning we could see the official release

of a more progressive code in place by

September 2016.


Radio listenership remains high amongst

Irish audiences with 83% of all adults

tuning in daily. Even when we look at

younger audiences we see 15-34’s and

15-24’s listenership remain stable and

healthy at 76% and 77% listened yesterday

respectively. These figures and the stability

in trend patterns are surprising given the

growth in digital streaming platforms

such as Spotify, Soundcloud and Apple’s

iTunes streaming service.

Radio offers something that streamed

music services or even syndicated radio

content cannot offer, we listen to radio

for something more than just hearing

our favourite song, it’s the sense of deep

personal engagement listeners feel with

their favourite station and broadcaster.

The dangerous temptation for broadcasters

is to strip out costs and shift to a more

music based format, which is a double

edged sword as although they are a less

expensive output, they will inevitably lose

listeners and revenue in the long run to

new music platforms as music attracts a

transient listener. The challenge for Irish

stations going forward is to continue to

drive commercial revenue allowing them

to invest in programming and talent to

protect the integrity of their schedule.



Red FM and Nova’s decision to step away

from Media Central and IRS respectively

is highly surprising. A resurgent media

market may have left both stations feeling

that increased advertising spends were

not filtering down quickly enough for their

liking but to remove yourself from the

relative safety of a single selling point could

make for tough trading in 2016. It is likely

that we will see other brands come into the

Red Nova sales portfolio (potentially non

radio brands) or they may both migrate

into a broader sales operation.

2016 will see an increase in agency spend in programmatic

buying in the radio sector.







As we begin a new year, the Out of Home (OOH) advertising

industry in Ireland is in its best state of health for many

years. Improvements to the product it provides, the flexibility

of the medium, the innovation and creativity on offer in the

market, and external economic factors, resulted in 2015

being the strongest year for the medium in almost a decade.


Recent years have seen a major push

by OOH stakeholders in improving the

quality of the medium. Even throughout

the harshest years of the downturn in

the OOH market, media owners steadily

improved and replaced existing formats

in response to the demands of the

advertising community. Upgraded bus

shelters, Metropoles, Metropanels, new

Commuter Squares and more HD posting

on 48 Sheets are all good examples. In

2015 this process was continued further

with the introduction of JCDecaux’s

Première format.

The high quality back lit units have replaced

a number of 48 Sheet and 96 Sheet

prismatic sites at various key locations

in Dublin and other main cities. Early

indications are that the Première panels

are incredibly popular among advertisers

and have been very well received.

Next year see the introduction of Capital

T-Sides by Exterion Media onto Dublin

Buses. The enlarged space available

for branding will create genuine moving

billboards in the city centre.



Digital OOH advertising now accounts for

around 11% of all OOH and this figure is

growing. Digital screens now outnumber

48 Sheets. The face of OOH is changing

as more and more HD Screens become

available for advertising in shopping

malls, DART stations, cinemas and bars.

Animated messages that run at specific

times of day and frequently updated

copy are common on digital OOH

campaigns and will be increasingly visible

in 2016. The nature of digital also allows

for more complicated messages to be

communicated to an audience. Rich and

colourful content developed by designers

specifically trained in designing for digital

OOH can bring products and services

to life in a way that was not previously




For more than ten years the OOH industry

has played its part in managing the

responsible and limited advertising of

alcohol in Ireland through adherence to

the AMCMB and other codes. However,

the recently published Public Health

(Alcohol) Bill outlines some further severe

restrictions on advertising, marketing

and sponsorship with OOH being hit

particularly hard.

The Bill, if fully enacted, will prohibit

advertising within 200 metres of the

perimeter of certain places including

schools, crèches and playgrounds and

will forbid advertising for alcohol in train

stations and at bus stations and stops.

The combination of these restrictions will

severely curtail advertising activity for this

category, especially in urban areas.



2016 will see Posterscope enter the OOH

specialist market in Ireland. The Dentsu

Inc. owned group has acquired PML Group,

the leading OOH specialist in Ireland.

Following completion of the deal, PML

will be part of the Posterscope worldwide

network. Established in 1982, PML is

the longest established OOH media

planning and buying specialist in Ireland,

operating from offices in Dublin and

Belfast with 41 employees. The group

comprises: PML, Source out of home and

the Poster Audit Bureau.

Jimmy Cashen, PML Group’s managing

director said of the deal “This development

is great news for PML and our clients,

adding fresh thinking and innovation

from Posterscope. We share the same

values and philosophy and have worked

successfully with Posterscope for many

years. We are excited to be part of the best

OOH global network.


In 2015 the Luas advertising contract

was retained by JCDecaux who has held

the advertising contract with RPA since

the light rail network launched in Dublin

in 2004. Since then, the audience on

Luas has been growing very strongly with

journey numbers exceeding 32.6 million in


The next phase of development, Luas

Cross City, will link up the Red Line and

the Green Line and it is expected that this

will add an additional 10 million passenger

journeys per year.

Also, the right to sell bus shelter

advertising space, currently held by Clear

Channel Ireland, will be considered in

2016. Adshel constitute the largest single

volume of OOH format in Ireland, with

approximately 4,200 panels located

within the Republic of Ireland. The hope

is that the next contract will encompass

some form of digital signage.

Digital Out of Home now accounts for 11% of all Out of Home

revenue and this figure will continue to grow.

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Ciaran Cunningham, CEO

+353 1 271 2139

16a The Crescent


Co. Dublin

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