Consumer magazines on the rise as Ten’s share teeters above 20% according to SMI data



Ad spend for consumer magazines rose by 5.4 per cent in August compared to the year before, according to the latest round of number from the Standard Media Index (SMI).

Last August political parties were steeling themselves for a hard-fought general election contest which saw more than $20m extra pumped into the media by the Liberals, Labor and Clive Palmer in frenzied electioneering, which helps account for the overall ad market dropping by 5.2 per cent.

However, Tristan Masters, analytics director for SMI, told Mumbrella government spending was around $46m last August including party spend compared to an average of around $20m, which when factored down and with late ad bookings would see the overall market “broadly flat”.

“What we saw last year was one of the highest government spends we’ve had, which has really impacted the TV and newspaper sectors in particular this year,” he added.

Ten is clinging on above the 20 per cent revenue share barrier with a market share for August of 20.55 per cent. However, its revenues were down 17.6 per cent year-on-year to $42.5m. Seven continued its dominance with a market share of $41.9 per cent, writing $89.8m for the month and Nine was on 38.2 per cent, with $81.8m.

Last month Ten had market share of 21 per cent, Seven 40.2 per cent and Nine 38.8 per cent of the market.

Overall the metropolitan stations were down seven per cent, dropping $16.348m to $217.4m, whilst regional TV sunk by 11.8 per cent, shedding $6.244m, and pay-TV took a 9.6 per cent hit, dropping $3.899m to $36.5m for the month.

Masters pointed to a massive decline in government spending as the reason for the drop, saying $26m of revenue was written by the TV sector from government for August, compared to an average of around $4m. “I’m not a Pollyanna for TV however, things are still a little bit soft” he added,  pointing to weak revenues from  sectors including banking and motor.

Whilst the overall magazine sector was down consumer mags saw an uplift of $894,000 for the month, to $17.471m.

Masters told Mumbrella: “Softness in the magazine sector has really arrested in the last couple of months, and both Bauer and Pacific Magazines are up year-on-year. There’s only so many months of 30 per cent declines it can withstand, and with new titles coming through we’re starting to see some growth. I think the years of large declines are behind us in that sector.”

However, the news was not so good for news inserted magazines (-26.1 per cent) and b2b titles (-24.1 per cent), which saw the overall magazine sector down 5.4 per cent for the month.

Digital saw growth again of 5.8 per cent, with social up 65 per cent to $6.498m, exchanges up 51.4 per cent to $16.340m and video up 25.2 per cent to $5.096m mobile posted growth of $45.7 per cent to $3.569m, whilst search grew by just 1.3 per cent to $24.3m.

Content sites, covering the likes of Fairfax, News Corp, Yahoo!7 and Mi9 assets,m shrunk 5.2 per cent to $46.09m. Traditionally late bookings and reporting from agencies sees the final figure for the digital sector revised up later in the month.

Farifax suffered the biggest losses, dropping 30.1 per cent, or $2.65m to $6.178m for the month, while News Digital was back 4.5 per cent, or $200,000, to $4.248m, whilst Mi9 posted 0.9 per cent growth, an extra $73,000 and Yahoo!7 added 9 per cent to $6.535m, up $541,446.

The category of ad networks, affiliates and EDM also took a big hit, declining 25.9 per cent to $7.9m, with Masters saying exchanges like Gorilla Nation and Adconian were feeling the pressure in the market place after several years of growth.

Outdoor had another positive month to $51.003m, up 3.7 per cent, however newspapers dropped 17 per cent overall, with metro titles shedding $7m to $41.2m, and regional losing a huge 28 per cent to $11.4m.

Cinema took a big hit dropping $44.8 per cent to $2.46m, below the spend for August 2011, while radio was down 5.8 per cent with regional taking a 9.4 per cent hit and metropolitan dropping 3.9 per cent.

Masters said he expects to see the market normalise after this month with the election spending out of the system adding: “In the fourth quarter I’d expect to start to see things move up a little bit.”

From next month the SMI is also set to split the “unwieldy” retail category, which accounts for around a quarter of all spending, into five distinct categories: quick service restaurants; home furnishing; general retailers (retailers selling products made by others); speciality retailers (stores selling goods they make); food and alcohol retailers.

“These splits will allow us to get a lot more granular with the details,” Masters added. “Breaking out speciality retail from general retail is important as the two behave quite diffrerently, whilst it will be good to get a proper look at the behaviour in the quick service restaurant category.”

Alex Hayes

Tristan Masters is speaking at next Wednesday’s joint SMI and Mumbrella breakfast Spends and Trends supported by ANZ Blue Notes. For more details and tickets click here.


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