When asked about the special characteristics of the Austrian media and advertising market, media managers cite the high media concentration in the print sector, the limited audience and narrowness of the advertising market, as well as the existence of a powerful media scene.
The Austrian media and advertising market, with a spending volume of just over five billion Euros, isn’t exactly a “global player”. But — despite globalisation — there are certain peculiarities that deserve special attention. It is virtually impossible to simply transfer international strategies to Austria.
The capital city of Vienna is the hub of the media scene owing to the size of the country and the well-established structures. This is where all the important decisions are taken in the communications industry. The limited size of the territory permits fast, simple communication — something that also appeals to international clients. One thing that doesn’t work is trying to handle the Austrian market on a “sideline” basis from abroad, notably from Germany. That can go wrong for a number of different reasons — ranging from peculiarities of the Austrian dialect to the mentality of readers and users. A strong local presence on Austrian soil is deemed invaluable by media experts.
One of the first things that strikes you about the Austrian media landscape is the high degree of market concentration. This is primarily due to the market being dominated by the “Kronen Zeitung”, the country’s biggest-selling paid daily newspaper, and the public broadcasting corporation ORF. Foreign owners also have a significant influence on the Austrian media — in both the print and TV segments. The Austrian advertising and reader market is characterised by its limited size in terms of potential advertising and marketing revenue — a problem confounded by direct and indirect competition from the much larger German media market that shares the same language.
For years, the print media have accounted for the majority of advertising expenditure, followed by TV and online media. Turnover generated by the latter — though displaying strong growth — is still well below the revenue from print advertising in terms of absolute figures. However, digital transformation continues to make major strides. Some publishing houses are currently noticing a significant shift towards programmatic advertising.
A completely different picture can be seen on the international advertising market, where advertising via digital media is experiencing the fastest growth. Austria is up to date as regards digital models for anything from programmatic advertising to content marketing. But while programmatic buying accounts for over a half of total expenditure on many international markets, its share in Austria is still very low. Experts are convinced that the marketing winners of the media industry will be offering data-driven communication approaches in future. However, for the time being, revenue streams from sales and advertising in the print segment represent the most important sources of income for the print media. •