SMI reports newspaper ad spend increase for first time in almost three years

Agency spend in newspaper media is up for the first time in almost three years, the Standard Media Index’s August figures show.

According to SMI, total newspaper bookings were up 2.7% in August compared to the previous year, with the majority of that coming from an 11.1% increase in agency spend for metropolitan titles.

Total newspaper bookings were up year on year

Regional press bookings were also up year on year.

SMI’s data covers spending on behalf of brands by media agencies and does not cover advertising bought directly by clients. It also does not include data from IPG Mediabrands.

The growth in newspaper media is the first in almost three years. In June, newspapers suffered a 5.1% decline while in July, the decline was 7%.

Across all media owners, the biggest growth came from the outdoor media companies, up 22% for August. Radio also posted strong growth – up 9.4% – compared to the same time the previous year. Metropolitan TV ad spend was stagnant, -0.2%, while regional and subscription TV brought total television bookings back by 4.2%.

Magazines suffered the biggest decline, down 28.3% in August, while cinema also fell by 14.6%.

The latest data from SMI

Total SMI ad spend for the year-to-date is at a record level of $4.7b.

Jane Ratcliffe, managing director of SMI Australia and New Zealand, was particularly pleased by the growth in newspaper media.

“We’ve seen far lower declines in newspaper bookings from agencies for the past four months, with each monthly decline being less than 4%, and clearly that improved momentum has continued with the August figures now in positive territory. And to have the largest print sector of metropolitan press drive the turnaround augurs well for the trend continuing,” Ratcliffe said.

“The print editions of newspapers have clearly been the media sector most affected by digital disruption, but to the industry’s credit they have continued to invest in their businesses in difficult times and now it’s paying off.”


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