The amount of gambling related TV advertising increased rapidly during the first half of 2016 compared to the same period last year. Behind the increase are offshore gambling companies, who have invested heavily in marketing over the past few years. The gambling companies have thus become an even more important revenue source for broadcasters on the declining Swedish TV advertising market.
The advertising market for broadcast TV dropped more than a quarter of a billion SEK in 2015, according to the Institute for Advertising and Media Statistics (IRM). 2014 also saw a decline and 2016 does not look any better. For the first seven months of the year, TV advertising investments were down by nearly 100 million SEK compared to the same period in 2015. IRM estimates the full-year decline at nearly three percent.
Behind this development lies an overall decrease in broadcast TV viewing, mainly among young audiences. This has led many advertisers to redirect advertising funds from television toward online media. In contrast, offshore gambling companies have instead increased their TV advertising investments and thus become an increasingly important source of revenue for the commercial broadcasters in Sweden.
Today, gambling companies, Swedish and foreign, account for one tenth of all television advertisements in Sweden. This corresponds to an increase of 20 percent compared to last year. For the first half of the year 2013, gambling companies’ share of all TV advertising only constituted three percent.
The upswing is entirely explained by increased TV ad buys from offshore gambling companies. Together, these companies account for 75 percent of all gambling advertising on broadcasted TV. Compared to only two years ago, they have almost doubled their TV ad buys. There is also a larger number of gambling companies who advertise on TV now than before. During the first half of 2016, 31 different gambling companies advertised on TV, compared to 24 for the same period the year before and 20 during the first half of 2014.
Looking at individual actors, Unibet in particular has invested significantly in TV advertising. The company has now surpassed state-owned Svenska Spel as the biggest gambling advertiser in Swedish television. And the strategy seems to have paid off, as Unibet is now the offshore based gambling company with the highest number of active customers on the Swedish market within sports betting, casino and poker. This was concluded in Mediavision’s ongoing analysis of the Swedish gambling market.
– What we are seeing is interesting for many reasons. The gambling market continues to grow and many actors are increasing efforts to advance their positions and obtain market shares before the pending re-regulation of the Swedish gambling market. There is an intense customer acquisition run going on, driving ad investments. For broadcasters this is good news in the short run. The question is whether the demand for airtime remains beyond a re-regulation of the gambling market, once the dust has settled, says Marie Nilsson, CEO at Mediavision.
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