SMI DATA: Easter Affects April’s Agency Ad Spend

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Australia’s media market has reported a 6.8 per cent decline in ad expenditure in April to $501.9 million, primarily due to the Easter holiday period falling in the month and lower Government ad spend compared to last year’s pre-Election highs.

Rochelle Burbury
Posted by Rochelle Burbury

Late digital bookings are expected to reduce the level of decline when added at the end of the month, but for now the interim digital result is showing a decline of 9.5 per cent. For the calendar year-to-date period aigital ad spend is now 1.9 per cent ahead of the previous calendar year period.

But so far this month it’s the outdoor media that’s reporting the best growth, with total agency bookings up 5.5 per cent to a record April level of $63 million.

Radio also grew by the same amount (up 5.5 per cent) to a record April result of $43.4 million. And the smallest media of cinema recorded the highest percentage growth for the month (up 32.9 per cent).

SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Schulze said it was inevitable the market would fall in April 2017 given there was no Easter period in April 2016.

“Timing issues are hugely significant when comparing like-for-like data, and the occurrence of Easter is always a key issue,’’ she said.

“However, SMI’s longer-term data shows the market remains very stable, with ad spend over the calendar year essentially flat, at -0.6 per cent, and actually higher over the financial year-to-date period. Indeed, in that eight month period the ad market is at a record high, up 0.4 per cent.’’

Agency demand in April 2017 was also dented by a large decline in government category ad spend from last year’s federal election-inspired highs with the total back 26.7 per cent this month.

However, the largest dollar decline was actually recorded by the food/produce/dairy category, where ad spend fell $9.1 million from April 2016, with the media of TV, outdoor and digital most affected.

And for digital media, this month SMI launched four new food/produce/dairy sub categories to provide even more insight into the areas most reducing digital spend. Similarly, for the first time this month SMI’s in home entertainment category has been split to show ad spend for home entertainment (film), home entertainment (TV), gaming, music and books.

Among the major Product Categories, the strongest demand in April came from the Retail market where ad spend has already grown 25.3% to $45.8 million. And the largest category of Automotive Brand also maintained its strong growth with total bookings lifting 5.4% YOY.

SMI AU April 2017 Data.

April 2017 % Change YOY
Television (excluding Digital) -6.6%
Digital (interim result) -9.0%
Outdoor +5.5%
Newspapers (excluding Digital and late bookings) -26.3%
Radio (excluding Digital) +5.5%
Magazines (excluding Digital) -21.2%
Cinema +32.9%
Other -42%
Grand Total -6.8%