News media advertising dips 6.3% in the third quarter of 2018

Total news media advertising revenue dipped by 6.3% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2018 to $469.7 million, according to the latest News Media Index with data collated by Standard Media Index.

The data collected represents print and digital revenue from both agencies and direct advertisers to NewsMediaWorks’ members – News Corp, West Australian Newspapers, Fairfax Media, and Community Newspaper Group, WA.

More decline for newspapers

The News Media Index shows digital revenues up by 8.1% in Q3, while SMI’s agency-only data showed digital ad spend grow to a lesser 4.1%. According to the new data, direct ad spend now accounts for 55% of all news media advertising.

Despite the overall dip, metro newspapers saw a 1.5% increase in display ad revenue in the same period. The metro display advertising growth was particularly strong in NSW, with ad spend up 6.8%. In Victoria metro was up 6.6% and Queensland it increased by 4.5% in Q3.

“We continue to be encouraged that the news media sector is being reappraised by both agencies and marketers. The fact that the bedrock of print advertising is metro newspapers demonstrates that our core business is strong. Digital ad revenues are also growing and outperforming the total market, which is supported by our emma data showing that 13.1 million Australians read digital news media,” NewsMediaWorks CEO, Peter Miller, said.

Last September saw strong advertising revenues driven by Federal Government and interest group spending on the Same Sex Marriage plebiscite, pushing ad spend to new highs, making year-on-year comparisons challenging.

“After a strong four months of revenue growth, the decline in September was expected due to the lack of federal government spending,” continued Miller. “The strength of reader trust in news media in the fake news era can not be underestimated, and we continue to provide advertisers with the most trusted media environment for their brands.”

SMI AU/NZ managing director, Jane Ractliffe, confirmed that the Q3 decline was impacted by falls in September total media market spending. In the second quarter, however, news media ad spend declined by just 3.7%, the lowest since the NMI records began in 2014.

“The NMI data highlights the ongoing improvements in advertising onto news media generally, and especially the higher print spending from the media agency market”, she said.

“But it’s also notable that direct advertisers are a large contributor to the growth of general news websites with the total ad spend from those advertisers soaring 42.4% in the quarter, ensuring those websites collectively grew ad spend by 5.2% over the same three months last year.”


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