Aussie Ad Market Defies Pundits & Nears Record High Spend In September

Aussie Ad Market Defies Pundits & Nears Record High Spend In September
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

Australia’s advertising market continues to boldly shrug off global uncertainty, and a pessimistic economic outlook as advertisers significantly increased their media investment in September, with the total value of ad spending growing 6.6 per cent to $774.9 million.

That puts the market just 0.7 per cent or $5.5 million, below the record September level set well before the onset of COVID in 2018.

SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Ractliffe said the market’s extraordinary resilience looks set to continue into October, with SMI’s Forward Pacings data showing bookings (ex Digital) back just 7 per cent with that payment data extracted when there was still a full week of trading to occur.

“Australia’s ad market continues to disprove the pessimists, with ad spend nudging a record level in September as Automotive and Travel advertisers return strongly to the market, and the Outdoor and Cinema media continue their extraordinary recovery from the impact of COVID.

“Overall ad demand is clearly very robust, and as there’s a very strong correlation between ad spend and GDP, it suggests the current wave of economic gloom may be misplaced.

“There maybe a few advertisers taking a very cautious approach and reducing media investment, but the SMI data proves the vast majority are continuing to grow their ad spend.’”

Outdoor emerged as the standout performer for ad spend growth in September, with the total soaring at a record growth rate of 62.6 per cent, while Cinema delivered another strong month with bookings up 150.6 per cent year-on-year.

However, Ractliffe said both the TV and Digital media seemed to be affected by the stronger demand evident in Outdoor, with linear TV ad spend back 1.1 per cent and Digital reporting slower growth of 5.1 per cent. `”Each of the TV, Outdoor and Digital media compete fiercely for the ad campaigns requiring mass audiences so it’s clear Outdoor’s success has dented the fortunes of the other larger media,’’ she said.

And TV and Digital will no doubt be looking more closely at the growth drivers behind Outdoor as SMI’s Forward Pacings data shows Outdoor ad spend is already up 7 per cent in October, while Cinema bookings have already doubled for October.

However, all other major media are enjoying the buoyant September ad demand, with Radio ad spending lifting 5.6 per cent (or 6.1 per cent with Digital Audio added); News Media bookings have grown 4.2 per cent (or 7.4 per cent with Digital News added) and Magazines are reporting an 18.8 per cent increase in ad spend (or +22 per cent with Digital titles included).

The September growth also ensured a record level of September quarter ad spend, with the total up 3.6 per cent, while for the CYTD the market is up 8.5 per cent to another record level beyond $6 billion.

Ractliffe said:“In September the Retail category was one of the fastest growing (+12.7 per cent year-on-year) and if that trend continues into the final quarter of the year – coupled with the continued return of Auto and Travel advertising – we will certainly be seeing yet another record level of Australian ad spend in CY2022.”

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