Print spiral accelerates as newspapers lose more than $100m in ad revenue reveals SMI

The flight of advertising from the world of printed newspapers and magazines accelerated in the 2016/2017 financial year with the two platforms losing a combined $130m in media agency ad revenue over the course of the year, the Standard Media Index has reported.

SMI’s Jane Schulze expects 2016/2017 financial year to set a new record

At the same time, growth in digital ad spending fell below double digits for the first time in a number of years, rising just 8.1% as it began to slow.

The print sector was the hardest hit of the legacy media platforms as newspaper ad spend declined $101m to $448.59m for the full financial year, a drop of 18.4% on the previous year.

Magazines faired little better, down $29.3m or 15.6% to $158.84m.

Television, which again shared the lion’s share of spending from media agencies, lost $91.62m over the year, down 2.9% with a decline suggesting the platform could drop below the $3b mark for the first time in the coming year – although SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Schulze said TV the numbers had been influenced by the massive impact of government spending ahead of last year’s federal election.

Source: Standard Media Index

Schulze said digital spending through agencies lifted just 8.1%, up $142m to $1.889b while outdoor’s surge on the back of increased digitisation saw it up 7.9% to $863m.

Radio lifted 2.9% to $580.4m and cinema added an extra $506,000 to finish the year on $$75.16m.

Source: Standard Media Index

Schulze said the overall figures, with late digital bookings still to be added, meant Australia was on track for its fifth consecutive year of growth for the full financial year.

She predicted spending would top last year’s $7.1b.

“The market was stronger in the first half of the financial year, with total ad spend up 1.2% to $3.7 billion, but suffered in the second half due to the backdrop of huge federal election ad spend at the same time in 2016, which saw ad spend decline by 1.6%,” Schulze said.

“Federal elections are like Olympic broadcasts from an advertising revenue perspective and are absolutely abnormal events, however the underlying result and the longer-term trends show that Australia’s Agency advertising market is set to deliver its fifth consecutive year of record financial year ad spend which underscores the strength of our market.”

Source: Standard Media Index

Digital’s presence as the fastest growing sector was aided by increased spending on programmatic exchanges, with the sector up 67.3% to $338m, followed by social sites which lifted 20.8% to $229m.

Travel and food/produce and dairy were the fastest declining categories with spending in the food category down $34.1m and travel down $9.9m.

On the upside, retail was the fastest growing category, up $90.1m, while automotive brand advertising was up $46.9m.


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