Already in its 9th edition, the report concludes that despite overall economic uncertainties, the TMT sectors (telecommunications, media and technology) remain fundamental in a society with huge amounts of information, which require faster and innovative communication means every day.

“For most players, this year will prove challenging in terms of market survival,” said Alina Dumitrescu, Associate Director with the Financial Advisory team of Deloitte Romania.

The global report predicts that one out of every ten print publications will reduce print fluency by more than half, cease physical printing or shut down completely. Similarly, the erosion of the Romanian print media seen over the past years will accelerate in 2009. Fewer readers, significant growth in online advertising and higher production costs will lead to consolidation.

“This year, the print version of a publication will ultimately be the proof of that’s specific brand’s importance and strength on the local market,” underlined Dumitrescu. “Moreover, the media will become more connected to the telecom industry, as more and more publications will develop an online or mobile platform.”

She added that lower advertising budgets due to crisis will probably lead to a consolidation in the advertising market as well, especially when it comes to small agencies with marginal accounts.

Advertising is another segment slowly shifting from traditional channels like television to the more dynamic and cheaper online environment.

“Online advertising will most likely see important growth this year, in the context of the two political campaigns,” considers Adrian Stanciu, Senior Associate with the Financial Advisory team of Deloitte Romania. “The online community has already attracted the interest of local politicians, as shown by last year’s parliamentarian campaign, which was in turn inspired by huge successes in other countries. For example, US President Barack Obama has turned to the latest techologies during his presidential campaign, posting important messages on Twitter or YouTube. Another example is the Israeli campaign in Gaza Strip, during which the latest news from the battlefield were posted on Twitter and YouTube.”

General Predictions in Media in 2009

• While newspaper and consumer magazine industry is set for continued challenges, new business models might emerge like shared backroom infrastructure and online-only delivery;

• Television will see a boost in viewing hours and this might determine strong players to invest in content, contracts and updated infrastructure;

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• Cinema did well in the 1930s downturn, but this year it will need a ‘must-have’ factor to convince audiences; the answer might be 3D movies;

• Sites hosting user generated content might scale back some of their offerings and offer more professionally produced content which can generate revenues;

• Live entertainment might be too expensive for the public this year, but with consumer interest still high, less expensive experiences may prove to be as good a choice as any other;

• Internet radio may reinvent the medium entirely, this year, with WiFi-based, portable sets expecting to take off in terms of audience and revenues;

• Mobile advertising’s market share might more than double, this year, while attracting large advertising campaigns;

• While under increased financial scrutiny, social networks might focus more on monetizing their subscriber bases, than maximizing their sizes;

• Mobile television’s momentum this year is likely to be dragged down by disappointing performance in 2008; media companies may want to focus on traditional platforms that offer known returns;

• Brands and website owners need to be aware of a spreading threat – malvertising, which uses online advertisements, typically placed in reputable online publications, to distribute malicious software.

The 2009 series of Predictions has been drawn on internal and external inputs from conversations with member firm clients, contributions from Deloitte member firms’ 6,000 partners and managers specializing in TMT, and discussions with industry analysts as well as interviews with leading executives from around the world.

The methodology for Predictions is revised every year and this time the standard research methodology has been further enhanced thanks to a program of in-depth interviews with 50 TMT executives. Respondents included dozens of CXOs from all regions, and from the technology and telecommunications sectors as well as media.