Olympics, Census Prove Tough Hurdles For Media Agencies: SMI

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 14:  Usain Bolt of Jamaica competes in the Men's 100 meter semifinal on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Australia’s media agency market has experienced another tough month in August, according to the latest data by Standard Media Index (SMI).

SMI noted the softer demand this time around was primarily due to the Rio Olympics and Census providing abnormal bookings last year, resulting in demand for August 2017 so far being back 12.1 per cent to $526.5 million.

But when late digital bookings are added at month end, the market is likely to finish down at the single-digit level.

Nonetheless SMI’s August 2017 results are so far showing lower bookings for every major media.

TV was the most affected by last year’s Olympics broadcast, and as a result, is now down 6.8 per cent before digital bookings are included.

Outdoor is back 5.8 per cent and radio (ex-digital) bookings are 13.7 per cent lower, at least in part due to an extra week commencing period falling in August last year abnormally inflating August 2016 ad spend.

SMI’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Jane Schulze, said the market continues to struggle against the high hurdles created by one-off events last year.

“The 2017 year was always going to be tough given the large significant events occurring last year such as the federal election, Rio Olympics and Census,” she said.

“As a result, we’ve only had two months in 2017 in which we’ve reported year-on-year growth – January and March – but we’re hoping a period of more normal comparative periods is now ahead of us.”

In terms of the August SMI results, within the category data the strongest growth seen in August was in the restaurants category (mostly fast food restaurants), where total agency ad spend grew for the second consecutive month, this time lifting 5.3 per cent, with money again coming out of digital and being reinvested in TV and outdoor media.

But the two largest categories of automotive brand and retail again reported lower spend, down 3.6 per cent and 11.9 per cent respectively year-on-year.

SMI: August 2017 agency ad spend (interim digital results)
Competitive media type Media type Change (%)
Television Television -6.8%
Digital 26.1%
Television (total) -6.1%
Digital -15.5%
Outdoor -5.8%
Radio Radio -13.7%
Digital -27.1%
Radio (total) -14.3%
Newspapers Newspapers -32.7%
Digital -35.4%
Newspapers (total) -33.5%
Magazines Magazines -28.4%
Digital -23.5%
Magazines (total) -27.7%
Cinema -32.8%
Other -23.9%
Grand total -12.1%


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