Branded entertainment poised for rebound

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Companies may have spent less on branded entertainment and event marketing in 2009, but the sector is bound to grow solidly this year and for the first half of this decade, according to a new forecast.

Driven down by the recession, total spending on branded entertainment marketing fell 1.3% in the US during 2009 to $24.63 billion, the first drop in 35 years tracking the industry, according to consulting firm PQ Media. But the sector was hurt less than traditional advertising, which was down 14.4% for the year, said the report PQ Media Global Branded Entertainment Marketing Forecast 2010-2014. The survey estimates total US entertainment marketing spending will rise 5.3% in 2010 and even faster through 2014, at a compound annual growth rate of 9.2%. 

Consumer events will remain the largest part of the entertainment marketing sector, even as product placement will be the fastest growing segment during the 2009-2014 period, according to the forecast. Events spending, including event sponsorship and event marketing, fell 1.1% in 2009 to $21.02 billion, but showed a compound annual growth rate of 8.7% in 2004 through 2009.

Meanwhile, product placement fell 2.8% to $3.61 billion in 2009, but it grew at a compound rate of 27.1% in 2004 through 2009.

"The secular shift to paid placements from the nonpaid model will continue in the forecast period, as changing consumer behaviors, new technology and the increased penetration of DVRs drives up the value of branded entertainment marketing strategies," said Patrick Quinn, CEO of PQ Media, in a statement.

While the recession cut into spending, branded entertainment marketing, including event sponsorships, will continue to gain ground against traditional media among marketers trying to reach customers who get their information from a larger variety of sources, according to the study.

"The cascade of new media platforms and technologies have led to significant changes in consumer media use, which has forced brands to rethink long-held beliefs about effective strategies to reach target audiences," said Quinn.

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