The influence of commercial TV on the volume of ads in magazines in Germany from introduction to maturity

Date of publication: June 15, 1991

Author: Rolf Speetzen


Germany was and still is a print media market. How much longer, if at all, will it remain a print media market? Their pattern of advertising expenditures varied only marginally during the two decades before 1985 the beginning of private commercial TV in Germany, and a change of the media scene. After two or three years of fairly slow growth of cable penetration, terrestrial re- broadcasting of SAT-1, RTL+ and Tele 5 pushed the availability of the private stations to a more than recognisable level. They now reach 70 to 80% of all German homes. The fact that private TV can air commercials after 08:00 p.m., when public sector networks are not permitted to, has attracted many new advertisers to TV. Advertisers who used to consider the cost of producing commercials too high in view of limited air time available, now are willing to make the investment, buying time on both the new private stations and the public sector stations. This had a noticeable effect on the share of advertising money being invested in the various media. Although the private commercial stations still are 30% behind the nearly 100% penetration level of the public sector stations their share of advertising revenue is expected to exceed that of ARD and ZDF for the first time. The share of print advertising is declining, for both magazines and newspapers. Since print media are not in the position to stop this trend, they have to come up with strategic solutions to defend as much of their share as possible. One such solution can be studies of advertising effectiveness, an examination of cost effectiveness may show that the overall costs of time and production may make a TV campaign too expensive for certain target groups. Another may be an examination of whether a combination of TV and print may not only be more cost efficient, but also provides better learning, recall and recognition results.

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