Branded Content Advertising Doubles in 2009

According to a new study released today by the Custom Publishing Council (CPC), in partnership with ContentWise, total spending on branded content was over $1.8 million per company, with 51% spent on print publications, 27% on Internet media and 22% on categories such as video or audio, which were measured for the first time this year.

Even allowing for the addition of new categories, 2009 spending was double that of 2008 and the highest amount since the CPC began conducting the survey in 2003.

Lori Rosen, Executive Director, CPC, says "... branded content has... expanded beyond its traditional roots of print publications and the Internet... (and) more importantly, 78% of respondents reported that branded content is more effective than advertising."

Highlighted Study Results:

  • Branded content initiatives are considered by marketers as more effective than other leading forms of advertising and marketing. Seventy percent said it was more effective than television advertising; 61% said it was more effective than direct mail and 57% said more effective than public relations
  • According to 54% of the companies surveyed, the primary reason for branded content initiatives was to educate customers. This was followed by customer retention (25%) and brand loyalty (21%). Up-selling was at the bottom of the list, indicating that corporate marketers are looking for long-term returns rather than a stimulus for short-term transactions
  • Of the average overall marketing, advertising and communications budgets, branded content accounted for 32% of funds. This is the greatest ever proportion of overall funds dedicated to branded content. The previous high was in 2007, with 27%
  • Of the average budget of $916,000 for print publications, $403,000 was spent on personnel, $339,000 on production and $174,000 on distribution.
  • The average Internet content budget was $491,000. $270,000 was spent on personnel, $83,000 on production, $59,000 on distribution and $79,000 on programming
  • The use of external agency services (custom publisher, design firm or video production company) to handle some aspect of branded content initiatives matched an all-time high from 2005, with 54% of companies reporting that they outsourced some portion of their branded content
  • Among companies that outsource, the average spend on branded content was a whopping $886,000. The previous record high was $316,000 in 2006. When extracting nontraditional forms of branded content from this equation, the total outsourcing spend was $650,000, 105% higher than previous records

The survey showed that 24% expected spending to increase in 2010; 20% expect it to decrease and 56% say it will stay the same.  Print publishing is expecting to decline, while other forms such as digital are expected to increase.

For more information from the Custom Publishing Council, please visit here.

2 comments about "Branded Content Advertising Doubles in 2009".
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  1. Timothy Kelley from The Baby CD, December 30, 2009 at 3:52 p.m.

    I am elated to see these results. We have been stressing the value of branded content since our inception 3 years ago. The Baby CD is an education resource recommended to new moms by their own doctor. Some of our sponsors, such as P&G with Pampers and Sanofi Pasteur with Pertussis vaccine, see the Baby CD as the perfect venue to add value through education and create trust with their brand through this 'doctor approved' venue. Branded content will continue to be the staple of our revenue with marketers realizing the benefits of having educated consumers.

    Timothy Kelley

  2. Chris Clegg, December 30, 2009 at 4:38 p.m.

    This reinforces the idea that consumers are happy to have a brand message associated with the deliver of something (anything) of value to them.

    Initially commercials were the content. That's changed (with notable exceptions) and today's consumer expects value more than ever. The right branded content delivers that.

    Great write-up. Thanks!

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