2021 Media Market Report: Q3 analysis & Q4 forecast

The need-to-knows from our latest Media Market Report.

26th November 2021 Read time: 2 minutes

A buoyant Q3 saw revenue make a comeback that outstripped many predictions. While recovery was always on the cards, its pace and depth bodes well for the whole market. As we move into Q4 with optimism from continued revenue growth, we offset this with caution – given the impact this will likely have on the cost and availability of premium airtime. Brands wishing to be live in this period are urged to move fast to secure the best airtime.


We’re expecting a significant increase in demand for reaching addressable audiences online across Q4, led by the retail sector, with brands eager to make up for lockdown losses and consumer shopping insights suggesting Christmas might be coming early1 . With heavy competition for consumer spend, reaching and capturing relevant, in-market audiences will be key.


Newspaper circulations remain fairly steady, but short-term press space has been harder than usual to come by as paginations remain reduced. Titles will become much busier in Q4, with retail and charity being two key high-spending sectors across this period. With Q4 being the busiest time of year for inserts, brief as soon as possible to secure the best positions this Christmas.


Audio has had an unusually busy summer across both linear radio and digital audio platforms, with very tight availability for lastminute campaigns. Podcast popularity has continued to increase, with 42% of the UK now claiming to be listeners2. Q4 is always audio’s busiest time, make sure you book at least four weeks before your live date to secure airtime.


Driving mobility is back to pre-Covid levels and retail is at 93%, due to the easing of restrictions as well as the summer holidays. Transport mobility is at 53%, the highest it’s been since the start of the pandemic. Q3 is nearly sold out on some OOH formats and Q4 is already very tight. Audiences are back across all formats, getting briefs in now for Q4 campaigns is highly advised.


Admissions are forecast to hit 37m, down just 20% on 2019 levels. So far, actual admissions have outperformed forecasts since cinemas reopened. The big screen is bouncing back with No Time To Die, Eternals, Top Gun Maverick and Spider-Man: No Way Home being just a few of the blockbusters coming up. While Q3 has been a strong start, Q4 looks to be when this channel can finally recover.

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