Ad market grows in September buoyed by TV and digital spend

Australia’s media agency market has delivered yet another month of double-digit revenue growth in September, according to the latest
Standard Media Index (SMI) report, with the value of national marketer ad spend jumping 15.5% year-on-year.

However, the strong TV and digital gains were not replicated within the outdoor media as reduced audiences prompted ad spend to nationally-booked outdoor campaigns to fall, in turn limiting outdoor’s growth during the month to 3.8%.

Television media was buoyed by the return of the AFL and NRL finals series to September after being moved to October last year, with total bookings up 17.1%, while strong growth in search and social media ad spend pushed digital’s total bookings up 20.1%.

SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Ractliffe said that 94% of all returning ad spend this month was placed on either the television or digital media. TV and digital media ad bookings were up 9% and 29% respectively from the September 2019 quarter.

“The Australian market has delivered another month of much improved advertising demand, but the month has been unusual given the very strong focus on the TV and digital media,’’ she said.

“The radio, magazines and cinema media also all delivered double-digit growth in agency ad spend in September but the sheer size of the growth evident in TV and digital – those two media accounted for 81.6% of all ad spend – necessarily reduced the share this month of all other media.”

As a result, total market ad spend this month is 9.3% below that seen in September 2019, but if bookings to the lockdown-affected media of outdoor and cinema are removed then total ad spend is 0.6% above that achieved two years ago.

“After more than three months of lockdowns in our two most populous cities, it’s inevitable they would eventually again affect the Outdoor media and that’s certainly the case this month as the September month is the first in five in which Outdoor has not delivered double-digit levels of ad growth,” Ractliffe said.

Ractliffe said SMI’s data also continues to highlight the incredible recovery in the local ad market, with September quarter bookings up 29.4% above the same quarter last year, and 4.6% above the same quarter in September 2019 having moved back through the $2 billion mark for the first time since the September 2018 quarter.

And across the calendar year-to-date period total ad spend has grown 27% to $5.9 billion which is 0.4% above the total recorded in the same period in the pre-COVID year of 2019.


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