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Newspaper advertising spend revealed to have fallen by a third in August

August was a tough month for the media industry across the board, with newspapers suffering the worst decline in demand from media agencies, new data from Standard Media Index indicates.

In comparisons which look worse because of healthy cyclical spend in August last year, agency spend on behalf of clients was down by 32.7% for print newspapers and by an even worse 35.4% for their digital offerings.

Magazines and radio saw majors drops compared to the same month a year ago, down 27.7% and 14.3% respectively.

The magazine category’s digital spend fell 23.5%, while print fell 28.4%.

Digital radio fell more than traditional radio, down 27.1% year on year compared to 13.7%.

Radio’s decline was attributed mainly to an extra week-commencing period which fell in August last year, meaning four weeks this year are being compared to five weeks in the same period of comparison in 2016.

Television was down 6.1% in total, however digital media spend in television was the only category up year on year, by 26.1%.

Outdoor media agency ad spend dipped by 5.8%

Cinema, dropped 32.8% on the previous year.

According to SMI, the major declines were primarily due to the Rio Olympics and the 2016 Census.

Total estimated ad spend for the month was down 12.1%, to $526.5m.

Schulze: It was always going to be tough

Jane Schulze, SMI Australia and New Zealand’s managing director said: “The 2017 year was always going to be tough given the large significant events occurring last year such as the Federal election, Rio Olympics and Census,’’ she said.

“As a result we’ve only had two months in 2017 in which we’ve reported year-on-year growth – January and March – but we’re hoping a period of more normal comparative periods is now ahead of us.’’

The restaurants category was the only one where total media agency ad spend grew for August, up 5.3%.

The large spending categories of automotive and retail fell 3.6% and 11.9% respectively.

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