Australia’s media agency market has delivered a solid turnaround in March 2017, aided by the absence of the Easter holiday period, which occurred last March, with total agency bookings already 2% higher at $590.9 million before late Digital bookings are added at month end.
But it was the television media that reaped the bulk of the gains this month, with TV reporting its best result since the post-GFC era, at least in part aided by the success of the AFL Women’s League on the Seven Network.
Total TV bookings soared 12.7% to $266.8 million – a level of growth for TV not seen since November 2010 – and within that Metropolitan TV ad spend grew an even higher 15.5% year-on-year, led by strong gains at the Seven Network.
Ad spend on outdoor media also continued its impressive growth (+17.8% YOY) and the Digital media should return to growth in March as its total bookings are so far back only 7.9%. But all other media reported lower March bookings.
SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Schulze said the timing of Easter last year was a major factor in this month’s stronger result.
“Although the market has bounced back in March, it’s not yet at the levels seen in March 2015 before the especially Easter-affected month of March experienced last year,” she said.
“However, if digital media does deliver results more similar to that seen through the year – and does not deliver lower bookings as it did in February – we could see late digital bookings push the market back to that even higher level.’”
Among the major product categories, the strongest demand in March came from the automotive brand and retail categories with both delivering year-on-year growth of more than 20%. In contrast the travel and food/produce/dairy product sectors were notably softer.
SMI’s payment data also shows the market to be flat for the March quarter with total advertising spend only back 0.4%, while over the longer financial year-to-date period the market is at a record level having grown 0.7%.
Also this month, SMI has unveiled further digital media breakdowns for SMI’s gambling product category, with the previous ‘Gambling Companies’ sub category now split into separate ‘wagering companies’ and ‘casino/gambling operators’ sub categories, bringing the total number of gambling digital sub-categories to three (the lottery providers sub category already exists).