Media Houses Feel Covid-19 Heat As Advertising Spend Drops by Ksh32 Billion


Annual advertising spend in Kenya dropped by 21 percent to Ksh122.3 billion compared toKsh154.1 billion in 2019, the Reelanalytics and Marketing Society of Kenya (MSK) has said.

The most affected companies were media houses, that were forced to downsize with several staffers being retrenched to cut on operating costs.

“Almost all sectors of the economy were adversely affected by Covid-19. The top most affected sectors were; communication, media and finance,” said Reelanalytics senior researcher Enock Mokaya.

Despite the dip in advertising spend, media, which depends much on advertising revenue, spent 12 percent of the total advertising spend to publicise self.

Media spent Ksh17.7 billion followed by finance at Ksh16.5 billion, while communication came third at Ksh16.3 billion.

Read: Mediamax Board Confirms Ken Ngaruiya As Group CEO

“Whereas the exact number of free airtime can only be accurately determined by individual media houses, there was in excess of Sh8.2 billion rate card value spends that can be directly attributed to self-advertising as well as unpaid for Covid-19 related advertising during the period under review,” Mokaya said.

Betting and gambling industry, which has been among the biggest spenders of late, saw its spend dip by 68 percent to Ksh9.9 billion  compared to Ksh30.4 billion in 2019.

The social industry recorded Ksh11.89 billion compared to Ksh2.7 billion in 2019.

Ministry of Health advertising spends grew by 1038 per cent in rate card value from 0.4 percent in 2019 to six  per cent in 2020.

In 2020, Mediamax fired over 100 employees after a push-and-pull over salary, while the Standard Media Group sent home several journalists in cost-cutting measures.

Royal Media Services, the home to Citizen TV, was also not left behind as several big names were shown the door.

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Written by Francis Muli

Follow me on Twitter @francismuli_. Email

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