PQ Media

The COVID-19 pandemic has even affected the global marketplace for product placements.

That’s according to new research from PQ Media, which says revenues climbed for the 10th straight year in 2019, with total value of placements across all media climbing 14.5% to $20.57 billion.

But revenues are expected to fall 0.4% in 2020, thanks to coronavirus-related economic chaos — snapping a growth streak that dates to the Great Recession in 2009, according to PQ Media’s Global Product Placement Forecast 2020.

Most of the action within the space is occurring within the U.S., which makes up 56.5% of the global market. U.S. product placement revenues grew 15.4% to $11.63 billion last year, driven higher by the increased value of brand integrations in live TV, films, OTT video, digital media and recorded music.

“However,” a summary of the report says, “the value of product integrations in the U.S. is projected to decline 2.5% this year, as many television programs and film productions — the two largest media platforms for product placement — were forced to halt work and delay releases of new episodes and movies scheduled for launch during the spring and summer months.”

Despite limited opportunities for new brand integration deals in the first half of this year due to pandemic-related lockdowns, PQ Media says meaningful opportunities have emerged in the current stay-at-home environment — with studios trying to find new revenue streams and brands striving for more visibility among younger audiences.

“The combination of tight media budgets, fewer ad avails in traditional media, and limited releases of new content direct to streaming video has opened up strong potential for sponsors and producers to strike mutually beneficial collaborations across multiple media channels and brand categories going forward,” the summary says.

With that in mind, PQ Media says global product placement revenues are expected to resume double-digit growth in 2021. The value of brand integrations is projected to climb 13.8%, with the U.S. (up 14.6%) the driving force behind the rebound.

“Our research suggests that deft product placement leads to online engagement and has the ability to create emotional connections with key demographics, such as Millennials, i-Gens and m-Gens, which are more elusive, tech-savvy and averse to traditional media,” PQ Media CEO Patrick Quinn says in the report’s summary. “As a result, paid placements have grown substantially in number and value during the past several decades because brands have become more willing to invest in skillful integration of their logos and products in storylines that will expose their assets in meaningful ways.”