Here’s What Kantar Is Predicting For Media (Including Audio) In 2021.


With the weeks counting down to 2021, expect to see more and more predictions about media and advertising trends in 2021. Kantar offered a 30-minute earful last week in the form of a fast-paced, insights-laden webinar featuring four of its top experts.


They ranged from how marketers will navigate a cookieless digital ad landscape (“tough cookies,” Kantar says) to “democratizing data” (making it accessible throughout your organization) to greater use of “infused analytics” to drive investments.


“With media consumption habits shifting dramatically and many media budgets shrinking due to COVID-19, the media landscape has never been so volatile,” said Duncan Southgate, Global Brand Director of Media at Kantar’s Insights division. In a presentation geared to marketers about the importance of differentiating their media mix, he made the point that context is more important than ever. Advertisers are now realizing that “where their ad appears is just as important as what it says,” he explained. They’re also swamped with choice and conflicting info about which ad placements work.


Southgate predicted that digital will remain a winner in 2021 with almost all online media formats seeing increased spending in 2021, thanks to bigger online audiences. “TV is a notable misnomer,” he added, since TV media consumption increased during the pandemic due to stay-at-home restrictions but its ad revenue dropped. The forecast from Kantar is for TV to bounce back in 2021.


Southgate also predicted “very healthy and friendly competition” between Google and Facebook as they respond to the explosive growth of Tik-Tok.


Meanwhile, all the volatility in Aldand has left advertisers “less confident” – only 49% are confident they have the right media mix, down from 56% in 2019. “But it’s not dampening enthusiasm for change,” Southgate noted. And in what smells like an opportunity for audio, 53% of marketers are now “more willing to try something new.” And almost all advertisers surveyed (96%) believe the pandemic will have long-term strategic implications, mainly a greater focus on campaign effectiveness and more investment in digital media.


To differentiate themselves in an increasingly cluttered media environment, advertisers and agencies “will accelerate their adoption of the latest media channels and formats,” he predicted. Online video will be the single biggest winner but there's room for audio growth. “The audio renaissance will continue with host-read podcast advertising alongside inventory on podcast networks,” Southgate said.


Download Kantar’s Media Trends & Predictions 2021 report HERE.


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