SMI Data: Ad Spend Down 4.7% For August As Massive Print Declines Weigh Heavily

SMI Data: Ad Spend Down 4.7% For August As Massive Print Declines Weigh Heavily

AUSTRALIA’S media agency market has experienced an unusual first post-Election month in August with total ad spend down 4.7 per cent at $575.4 million as Seven’s Rio Olympics broadcast took centre stage and unrelated advertisers remained on the sidelines.

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The strength of Seven’s Olympic broadcast was evident by the network attracting 51 per cent of the metropolitan commercial TV market’s agency ad spend, while also debuting strongly as a stand-alone digital business with the sales of its Olympic-related digital assets seeing it catapult into the list of 10 largest digital groups in Australia as the eight largest.

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But despite the emergence of Seven as a significant digital player in its own right, the overall digital market has recorded its largest interim year-on-year decline with the total so far back 5.4 per cent before late digital bookings are added at month end.

Outside of the Olympics, the other notable feature this month was advertising related to the Census, which resulted in SMI’s Government category ad spend almost doubling year-on-year while the data also showed a large proportion of those bookings targeted regional media.

SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Schulze said advertisers were also being cautious as they assessed the media landscape post the Federal election spending boom, but she believed Seven’s Olympic success bode well for the industry.

“Apart from their impressive TV spend, Seven’s success in selling its digital-related Olympic inventory provides the market with the first clear indication of the value linear TV content can achieve online through their advertising video-on-demand (AVOD), or streaming sites,’’ she said.

“And as this digital advertising is embedded within traditional TV content the amounts can be added back to the TV ad spend results in the future, just as SMI has already done with the newspaper and magazine media. It’s another example of how content-based media are increasingly monetising their content online, which means the historic view of media in separate `media silos’ is rapidly becoming outdated.’’

SMI also introduced ad spend for two new product categories this month – clothing/fashion accessories and consumer electronics – while also providing more detailed breakdown for digital spend to the gambling, alcoholic beverages and toiletries/cosmetics categories.

“SMI’s Category data is the only like-for-like ad spend product available across all media sectors and as such has become increasingly relied upon by advertisers to understand competitor behaviours, especially in the Digital media which is notoriously difficult for others to estimate,’’ she said.

Meantime, Ms Schulze said the overall market remains in record territory over the calendar year period with both the Digital and Outdoor media reporting double digit calendar year growth.