February SMI numbers hit $595m with over a year of successive monthly growth

New figures from SMI have reported growth of 3.3% year-on-year in February, despite the Australian Open moving back to January this year.

The media agency market has now eclipsed more than a year of successive monthly growth, now reaching $595.7 million across February, showing buoyancy across the Australian market.

This figure is just $11.2 million shy of the record for total spend in February, in 2018. Jane Ractliffe, SMI AU/NZ managing director said the figures underscored the current market health, especially with the Australian Open moving back to January.

SMI’s Ractliffe

“Usually when such large sporting events are missing in a month it results in an overall reduction in year-on-year ad spend so the fact that we are reporting continued growth is a very positive sign for the broader ad market.”

“But the absence of the event was of course the main reason for a 7.3% decline in TV ad spend in February, with the lower demand also flowing through to a reduced level bookings to the TV streaming sites market.”

Ractliffe also said that these results mean 2022 is off to a record start, with spend across the first two months up 11.7% on 2021 figures in total, and 3.8% ($43.6 million) on the previous record period in 2018.

Government ad spend continued to make a contribution after last month, with pre-election spending in the category up 74%, as the nation moves closer to the Federal Election.

The largest gains were seen in the search and social media sectors, while TV streaming was one of the few digital sectors to reduce spend.

Outdoor and Cinema bookings continued its recovery after being the most hit by COVID, with bookings growing by 7.5% and 105%.

The SMI figures also highlighted that regional media spend also experienced growth, with regional tv bookings up 2.5%, radio up 5.1% and the regional newspaper market up 13.1% in bookings.


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