Fourth-Quarter Surge Helps Aussie News Media’s Ad Revenue Hit $2 Billion In 2017

Fourth-Quarter Surge Helps Aussie News Media’s Ad Revenue Hit $2 Billion In 2017

Australia’s news media sector remains the third largest media sector based on ad revenue, reporting $2.02 billion for the 2017 calendar year.

According to the latest News Media Index (NMI), the sector’s advertising revenue hit a year high in the fourth quarter at $519.8 million, buoyed by advertising related to the Queensland election and the marriage equality debate.

The result was underpinned by digital news media revenue, which grew 8.5 per cent to $134 million – well above the agency-only growth rate of 6.6 per cent reported by Standard Media Index (SMI).

Digital spend from direct advertisers jumped by 31.8 per cent to $85 million in the final quarter of 2017.

Programmatic ad revenue also continued to grow strongly, rising by 26.5 per cent to $9.9 million, while digital classifieds rose by 21.6 per cent to $61 million during the quarter.

Total direct ad spend dipped just 4 per cent – a fraction of the decline reported in the agency-only print revenue figure for the same period – while the overall sector was back 9.9 per cent in the quarter.

News Media Index by media type
Q4 2016Q4 2017% change YOY
Total industry$576.8m$519.8m-9.9%

NewsMediaWorks CEO Peter Miller said: “Trust has been a key issue for advertisers in 2017 and will continue to be this year, which is why we have seen brands choosing news media, particularly for their digital campaigns, because the trusted environment that our publishers offer is unmatched for both content and ads2.

“Advertisers are assured of a brand safe environment that reaches 90 per cent of the population every month3 and that is a compelling proposition.”

“Direct advertisers continue to have greater confidence in the effectiveness of news media than the media agency market. The fact is that news media continues to attract highly-engaged audiences who trust not only the news media content, but also the ads.”

SMI’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Jane Ractliffe, said the data also shows how news media is remaining highly relevant for direct advertisers, with that market growing its share of total news Media ad spend by 3.8 percentage points to 56.3 per cent in 2017.

“This quarter we have seen especially strong growth from the direct advertiser market into national print titles, with the total spend from those advertisers growing 13.5 per cent from the same quarter a year ago,” she said.

“And the fact that in the past year direct ad spend has only dropped back 4 per cent across all news media publishing platforms shows how engaged these advertisers are with brand-friendly news media.’’


  1. The revenue data is taken from NewsMediaWorks members (News Corp Australia; Fairfax Media; West Australian Newspapers; and Community Newspaper Group, WA), who represent around 90 per cent of the news media sector.
  2. Galaxy Research online questionnaire, June 2017 was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 2,863 Australians aged 18 years and older.
  3. emma (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia), 12 months to October 2017. Readership based on last four weeks. Trends compared with 12 months to October 2016. Survey conducted by Ipsos Connect, people 14+, Nielsen Digital Ratings (Monthly), October 2017.


Latest News