Digital news ad revenue climbs 8.5%, but print falls 14%

Digital advertising revenue for news media has grown by 8.5%, new figures released by industry body NewsMediaWorks have revealed.

Revenue – which is calculated by the Standard Media Index and reports on total ad revenue for news media publishers from direct advertisers and agencies – climbed to $119.6m, compared to last year’s third quarter revenue of $110.3m.

Fairfax’s Brisbane Times’ new design

The NewsMediaWorks figures are audited by Standard Media Index and cover News Corp, Fairfax Media and West Australian newspapers and do not include digital and print subscription revenues.

Revenue growth in digital follows a series of online websites revamps, which promote “cleaner”, “easy to navigate offerings” as well as higher viewability for advertisers.

It kicked off with Fairfax’s Brisbane Times in August, before News Corp’s The Daily Telegraph launched its new website the following week.

In October, News Corp refreshed its Herald Sun website promising better advertising visibility, followed by Courier-Mail and The Advertiser last week.

Source: NewsMediaWorks

But the latest results also indicated digital advertising revenue is the only area of increased spend in the news media sector, with print advertising spend down 14.3% and newspaper-inserts falling by 12.4% year on year.

Print advertising fell from $426.3m in the third quarter of last year, to $365.1m this year.

Meanwhile  newspaper-inserts fell 12.4% year on year from $19.7m to $17.3m.

Overall the biggest area of growth was in programmatic ad revenue, which jumped by 44.5% in the third quarter to $12.1m. News media now contributes 13% to total programmatic revenue in Australia.

Total ad revenue for year to September 2017 is $2.07b while in year to September 2016, the news media sector recorded annual revenue of $2.3b. 

NewsMediaWorks CEO Peter Miller said the growth in digital and programmatic share is part of a “flight to quality, trusted content”.

“Advertisers can be guaranteed of brand safety in news media, which is why our publishers are the most trusted media channel for both content and ads,” Miller said.

“It’s instructive that direct advertisers have greater confidence that news media works well, while the media agency market view differs. The fact is that news media continues to deliver large, highly engaged audiences who trust their preferred news source and adjacent advertiser messages.”

Jane Schulze, managing director of SMI across Australia and New Zealand said advertisers were looking to grow their investment on high quality news websites.

“This also means the news media industry continues to lead all media in the transition to a hybrid digital revenue model, with digital representing 23.8% of all news media revenues in the third quarter of 2017, compared to 19.8% for the same quarter a year ago,’’ she said.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.