Corporate barter company Astus UK predicts that media barter sector will achieve billings of £250 million by 2014.
Corporate barter grew steadily throughout the past decade and is currently enjoying a period of rapid growth. When Astus UK joined the sector in 2003 it was worth just over £50 million – this figure has more than trebled and is expected to top £169 million by the end of 2010. This expansion is due to an increasing number of companies turning to corporate barter as a way of using their products and services to part-pay for their marketing spends. The model also enables media owners to use incremental media space to off-set their expenditures.
Although the barter sector has undoubtedly been helped by the recession, growth in the sector has also been aided by the introduction of a new risk free trading model, developed by Astus and adopted by the rest of the sector, which is now leading to more responsible trading methods.
Even as the country pulls out of recession there will still be huge pressure on media agencies and media owners to deliver extra value for clients, and agencies are now working proactively with barter companies like Astus to achieve this value.
The retail and FMCG sectors have been leading the way, doubling their use of barter between 2008 and 2009. This is set to continue in 2010, with media campaigns worth £19.5million being bartered over the course of the year in these sectors alone.
Asked whether Astus were concerned about how barter would be viewed as the economy improved Frances Dickens, CEO of Astus said “Although it would have been easy for us to have taken a short-term approach and been very aggressive with media owners, we have always taken a long term view. Corporate Barter is an established trading model and every deal we do has to work for all parties”.
Mark Green, European Trading Manager, Aegis Media said: ”We think that Barter usage will continue to increase provided it continues to offer the opportunity for both clients to hold and increase marketing spend and also for media suppliers to attract incremental revenue, which is especially relevant in the current environment.”