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Big Spender - The State

The state has been for year the biggest advertiser in the country. Public money has been spent through its Ministries, institutions, republic agencies, bodies, local self-governments etc on different advertising and sponsorship contracts. The total value of state advertising still remains unknown due to the poor regulation of this sector. Most commercial advertising is placed with national media outlets. Outside the main cities, local economies are underdeveloped and advertising markets are very poor or nearly nonexistent. Under every government so far, owners of media buying agencies had close ties with the ruling party and politics. These connections have helped acentuate growing economic and editorial pressure on Serbian media.

According to the latest available data which relate to 2016, the total value of the advertising market in Serbia was 174 million Euros. This amount of money is insufficient to sustain the survival of the curently active media in Serbia. There are more than 1600 active registred media outlets which are competing for their share of the advertising market.

The highest value of the mass media advertising market was recorded in 2008 - 206 million Euros. Following this peak, the market was hit by the global economic crisis and it started decreasing in value, reaching its lowest value since the beginning of the global crisis in 2013, just 155 million Euros. In 2014 the market remained on a level similar to 2013, while in 2016 an increase of 7.3% was recorded, reaching 174 million Euros.

Overview of data relating to the share of various types of media in total advertising for the period 2008 - 2016 shows that TV and radio managed to keep approximately the same share in total advertising, while print and OOH reduced their share by 6% and 4% respectively, primarily due to the increased Internet share.

Since 2008, when it reached its peak, the TV market has been recording a constant decrease. In 2013  a significant decrease of the TV market value of around 16% was recorded in comparison with the preceding year, in 2014 this level was maintained, while in 2016 a slight increase (8.3%) was recorded.

In contrast to the TV market, the radio market is much smaller, but it has also recorded a smaller decrease over the  years. The biggest decrease was recorded in 2009 - 6,4 million Euros.

However, print market recorded the most drastic and continuous fall in advertising from 2008 to 2016. The biggest fall was recorded in the first year of the crisis, 2009. After the initial crisis in 2009, the print media market recovered somewhat, but it still experienced the biggest fall in advertising. The lowest level of printed media market was recorded in 2016.

Besides the global economic crisis, other factors also influenced dynamics and trends within mass media advertising  in Serbia. Year after year, we have witnessed the faster development of Internet use, the growth of which reflects an increased share of this media in advertising. According to data of  IAB Serbia for 2015,  the total value of the digital and interactive advertising market was estimated at 20 million Euros. In comparison with the preceding year, this marked an  increase of 11,2%. However, the decline of the advertising market which began in 2008 cannot be compensated by increases in online advertising, regardless of the increasing use of the Internet, of both users and advertisers.

The biggest growth of investments in 2015 was recorded in segments of video advertising (128%) and mobile advertising (43%), with  estimated market values of  1,05 million Euros and 1,89 million Euros respectively.


Media Market Evaluation - Desk analysis for 2016, Personalized Report made by IPSOS, 2017

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