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SMI to change reporting dates to better reflect advertisers’ media spending habits

The Standard Media Index has announced the reporting of media spending trends will be changed for future surveys, to reflect the industry’s changing spending patterns.

SMI”s public releases on media spending trends will now move to the end of the month to reflect agencies’ digital bookings being made later in the month compared to print and TV placements.

“As the digital media continues to grow in size, so too has the degree to which SMI’s mid-month data is being affected by late bookings to that media,” said SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Ractliffe in the announcement.

“That’s not going to change as the nature of digital media means it’s impossible to know the final cost of a campaign before the end of the month and to therefore pay for it in that time frame.

“But by re-releasing all data at the end of the month we not only pick up the late digital bookings but also the lesser number of late bookings for other media which means our stakeholders no longer need to wait another two weeks to see fully updated market changes.”

Ractliffe said in the future, subscribers and agency partners will still receive the mid monthly reports, but would also get fully updated media and category databases at the end of the month.

SMI illustrated the changed patterns with January’s spending figures, where an 8.2% decline was reported in the middle of the month, before $29 million of late digital and other media bookings were added to bring the total up to $460 million, a 0.3% drop on the same time last year.

The late surge saw digital ad spending grow 2.3% in January, with agency spending in search overtaking the amount spent directly on content sites.

SMI attributes this shift to digital publishers being pressured to trade through programmatic platforms rather than directly with media agencies.

The updated data also showed the year-on-year broadcast TV spending grew 1.9%, and outdoor ad spend increased 5.1%. Magazines saw a drop of 36.8% and newspapers 31.2%, however news print ad sales were lower year on year due to there being one less weekend in January this year.

Among the major product categories, Ractliffe said an extra $1.4 million in late bookings came in for the restaurants category in January, growing the year-on-year increase for that category to 12.5%.

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