Australia’s media agency market has finished the calendar year close to last year’s record level, with the value of the ad spend back just 2.7 per cent to deliver the second largest total of annual ad spend ever recorded, according to the latest SMI Data.
But this top line result was heavily impacted by last year’s huge Government and Political Party ad spend due to both the Federal Election and COVID response, and when bookings for those categories are removed across both years the underlying ad market shows a reduced decline of just 0.9 per cent (or $72 million).
Even so the top-line total remains 8.2 per cent – or more than $660 million – larger than the pre-COVID 2019 total.
Guideline SMI APAC Managing Director Jane Ractliffe said the 2023 year was notable for the success of Outdoor, with the media reporting a record level of revenue with the total up 15.1 per cent (or 18.5 per cent on an underlying basis).
“Outdoor media’s recovery from the COVID era has been quite extraordinary with growth continuing to accelerate each year since the pandemic with this year’s revenues now 70 per cent higher than the COVID-hit year of CY2020 but also 43.3 per cent above the CY2021 total even though the media had already reported a strong recovery that year,’’ Ractliffe said.
“So Outdoor is doing well in a market that’s emerged as the second largest ad market of all time, with last year’s abnormal Federal Election boost delivering a huge record total. And despite higher interest rates and global uncertainty the CY2023 total is just 0.9 per cent below that record level on an underlying basis.’’
Digital bookings also continued to grow this year with the star sector being Video Sites as the BVOD and CTV markets quickly gain strong traction, pushing total growth for TV-related Video content to 32.4 per cent on an underlying basis.
As a result we’ve also seen the value of Video-based Digital campaigns (+7.4 per cent this year) get closer to the traditionally larger Display inventory (+1.4 per cent) with only $150 million now separating the two.
And the Audio market also delivered CY2023 growth of 0.5 per cent on an underlying basis when the growing podcast and streaming markets were also included.
Among key advertiser groups, the Automotive Brand category reported the highest increase in ad investment across the year with that category’s spend up 11.3 per cent, followed by Insurance ad spend (+7.7 per cent) and then Restaurants (+8.6 per cent).
And the Government category clearly reported the largest decline with total ad revenues back by more than $100 million on the CY2022 year.
Meantime, results for the month of December showed the market back 9.1 per cent YOY with Outdoor the only major media to grow revenues (+6.8 per cent).
And financial year-to-date results show the market is so far back just 2.3 per cent given the growth evident in Q3 this year. Within that Outdoor revenues are up 14.3 per cent and Digital ad spend has lifted 3.4 per cent.
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