Back to top

German Audiovisual Advertising Market 2020: COVID-19 slows down radio and TV advertising, advertising on streaming offerings continues to grow


•    Classic radio and TV advertising loses around 9 percent revenue in 2020
•    Holistic risk assessment can stabilise the industry
•    Net advertising revenue in audiovisual media totals 5.7 billion euros
•    Advertising in audiovisual content will help reboot the economy after the crisis

Berlin, 27 May 2021. The audiovisual media as an advertising medium were slowed down by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in the past year and their financing weakened considerably in some cases. Declining revenue was recorded mainly in the sector of linear radio and television advertising, while audio and video advertising on streaming services continued to grow against the trend. This is the result of the advertising statistics published today by the German Advertising Federation (ZAW) which is based, among other things, on surveys conducted by the German Media Association VAUNET as the industry´s representative.

In the television sector, net advertising revenue declined by 8.8 percent to 4.01 billion euros (2019: 4.40 bn euros). In contrast, the net advertising revenue generated from video advertising on streaming services increased by 13.2 percent to 883 million euros (2019: 780 mill. euros). Instream video advertising was thus the segment with the highest percentage growth rate of all recorded genres. Net advertising revenue in the radio sector dropped by 9.1 percent to 713 million euros (2019: 784 mill. euros). In this case, a reluctance to advertise was clearly noticeable and had a widely varied impact on VAUNET´s member companies. The net advertising revenue generated from audio advertising on streaming services have increased by 8.3 percent to 65 million euros in the meanwhile (2019: 60 mill. euros).

Annette Kümmel, Chairwoman of the VAUNET Board of Directors: "After a very good first quarter in 2020, advertising-financed media were in some cases severely hindered by corona. However, the extent to which individual companies have been affected differs considerably, the smaller and more regional they are, the stronger the impact. Since current economic aid facilities often fail to have any effect in the media sector, targeted measures are needed to support those media enterprises that are particularly hard hit. In order to ensure the media diversity in the long term, an holistic risk evaluation is also necessary, i.e. a regular review of how regulatory decisions may impact media diversity."

Frank Giersberg, Managing Director of VAUNET: "Despite high media usage, which even increased again during the crisis, advertising reluctance was at the same time clearly noticeable. Regardless of the current situation, however, the audiovisual media continue to stand for high coverage, advertising impact and efficiency and will therefore be able to make a vital contribution to rebooting the economy after the crisis."

In total, 5.67 billion euros were invested in audio and audiovisual advertising in linear and streaming services during 2020. Compared to the previous year, this corresponds to a decline of 5.8 percent. Net revenue in the TV and video sector recorded an overall drop of 5.5 percent to a total of 4.90 billion euros (2019: 5.18 bn euros), while audio net advertising revenue had an overall decline of 7.8 percent to 778 million euros in 2020 (2019: 844 mill. euros).

The association has published a report on "Audiovisual Advertising in Germany 2020", which outlines the performance in each individual segment. However, the development in the current year is still characterised by great uncertainty due to the COVID-19 crisis, so that VAUNET does not provide a forecast for the current year 2021.


Publication "Audiovisual Advertising in Germany 2020" (in German)


Frank Giersberg


Hartmut Schultz