Newspaper print ad spend falls by 15% in final quarter of 2017, but digital climbs 8.5%

Print advertising spend for the newspaper sector suffered another massive blow in the final quarter of 2017, down by more than 15%.

According to the latest News Media Index figures, print advertising spend fell from $433m in quarter four 2016, to $367.1m in the final quarter of 2017.

The latest figures saw ad spend down for NIMs and print, but an increase for digital

Newspaper inserted magazines (NIMs) also declined in the final quarter, down 7.8% to $18.7m for quarter four of 2017.

But with the help of the Queensland election, digital ad spend was buoyed, up 8.5% year on year, from $123.3m to $133.9m.

Of that revenue, $85m was contributed by direct advertisers, up 31.8% year on year. Programmatic ad revenue also saw an increase, up 26.5% to $9.9m. Digital classifieds climbed by 21.6% to $61m for the quarter, which ran from October to December.

Compared to quarter four of 2016, the total industry spend was down by 9.9% to $519.8m. From December 2016 to December 2017, total ad spend in news media was $2.02b.

The quarterly News Media Index report accounts for all print and digital advertising revenue for Australia’s news media publishers from both agencies and direct advertisers. It is independently verified by SMI.

Peter Miller, NewsMediaWorks CEO said digital ad spend increase comes from trust in news media products.

‘Trust’ a key factor in digital ad spend, says Miller

“Advertisers are assured of a brand-safe environment that reaches 90% of the population every month and that is a compelling proposition,” Miller said.

“Direct advertisers continue to have greater confidence in the effectiveness of news media than the media agency market. The fact is that news media continues to attract highly engaged audiences who trust not only the news media content but also the ads.”

Jane Ractliffe (formerly Schulze), SMI’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, said the new data shows how relevant news media is for direct advertisers. In 2017, direct advertisers’ share of total ad spend increased by 3.8% to 56.3%.

“This quarter we have seen especially strong growth from the direct advertiser market into national print titles, with the total spend from those advertisers growing 13.5% from the same quarter a year ago,” she said.

“And the fact that in the past year Direct ad spend has only dropped back 4% across all news media publishing platforms shows how engaged these advertisers are with brand-friendly news media.’’

Earlier this month, it was revealed media agency spending with print newspapers had fallen 22.3% across the 2017 calendar year. Newspapers also suffered a 16.9% decline for their digital products.

SMI figures also showed media agency spending had decreased 25.6% for newspapers in the month of December.


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