Ad spend back 3.1% but higher than the last ‘normal’ September month

Australia’s media-agency-funded ad market was back just 3.1% for September, at $650m. The Standard Media Index (SMI) stated that this was higher than the last “normal” September month in 2016, given that September 2017 saw the same-sex marriage plebiscite inflate ad spend, and the Financial Services Royal Commission “abnormally” increased bookings last year.

After 12 consecutive months of decline, including the first nine calendar months of the year, Australia remains back 4.7% compared to January through September 2018.

However, towards the end of September, the SMI released a forecast stating it expects the ad market to bounce back in October and continue on through to 2020.

Insurance remains the fastest growing category, up 37% for the month and 32% for the September quarter.

Across the Tasman, New Zealand’s media agency spend was boosted by the Rugby World Cup and local elections.

Ad spend went up by 15.1%, surpassing the $100m mark for the first time in a September month. TV ad spend in New Zealand was also up by 22.4%.

Although it had a smaller impact than in New Zealand, SMI AUNZ managing director, Jane Ractliffe, said that the Rugby World Cup also boosted the Australian market.

“The Rugby World Cup has also had some impact on Australian television revenues, with the metropolitan TV sector reporting its strongest month in a year, and that’s despite the absence of the NRL Grand Final revenues this September,” Ractliffe said.

“But in NZ the excitement surrounding this tournament also drove general market confidence with NZ’s outdoor media, for example, lifting revenues by 42% and radio ad spend growing 5.7%.”

Media companies’ investment into advertising also jumped to 59% in September, with the SMI suggesting the result points to the industry feeling positive about the market’s outlook.

Outdoor was the highest performing media for the month, with bookings up 9%, exceeding $100m for the first time in a September month. The SMI believes this may be attributed to an extra Monday occurring in September, which may, in turn, affect October’s figures.


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