Independent media agencies are predicting a strong recovery from the effects of COVID-19, forecasting an increase in staff and revenue in 2021, according to data from the Independent Media Agencies of Australia’s (IMAA) second Pulse Survey of its members.
The results revealed that almost 90 per cent of agencies expected to boost their workforce numbers this year, while 31 per cent said they had already financially recovered from the impact of the pandemic.
For those still feeling the strain, almost half (47 per cent) said they expected to financially recover by Q2 2021, with another 11 per cent predicting a return to profitability by Q3 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a significant decline in client spend for many agencies, with almost two-thirds saying their revenue had been impacted by up to 50 per cent.
The survey also showed working remotely is set to be the “new normal” for almost a third of agencies, with 32 per cent saying working from home was now part of their work arrangements. However, nearly half the agencies surveyed (46 per cent) had returned to working from their offices, with a further seven per cent expected to go back early this year.
The Pulse Survey was conducted among the IMAA’s members in November 2020 to gather feedback on market conditions. The survey is conducted twice-yearly among members. The inaugural Pulse Survey in June 2020 revealed a similar sentiment among agencies on their COVID-19 recovery, with more than a third expecting client spend to increase.
“The Pulse Survey shows the resilience of the independent media agency sector. Although many of our members were, like the rest of the industry, hit hard by the pandemic and reduced client spend, we have found they are bouncing back quickly and looking ahead to a more successful 2021,” IMAA General Manager, Sam Buchanan, said.
The latest survey data also showed 2021 is set to be a big year for CTV, BVOD and digital, with respondents nominating these media channels as their top three predictions for advertising growth year-on-year.
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