Australia’s media agency market has experienced a tough start to the new calendar year, reporting a 6.1 per cent decline in January ad spend to $444.5 million (down 4.7 per cent ex government category), which represents the first such decline in January ad spend since 2013.
The lower bookings were partly due to some timing issues as there was one less Monday in January 2019 compared to January 2018, which means SMI is collecting less radio bookings made on a week- commencing basis and many forms of outdoor media also start campaigns on a Monday.
Even so, the overall trend is certainly weaker and even when the market is normalised for the lack of Federal Government ad spend since July the only media reporting growth is digital.
But there are still many notable milestones in the January 2019 period including:
• Metropolitan press outperforms market with flat January bookings
• Lowest decline in magazine bookings since December 2017
• New cricket rights sees ad spend to the SVOD market jump 44per cent
• Tennis rights buoy Nine’s ad spend
SMI completes one year of collecting digital and static outdoor ad spend, meaning we now have year-on-year data for those ad formats.
SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Ractliffe said the product categories most impacting the softer January demand were restaurants (ad spend down 18.5 per cent YOY), insurance where advertisers reduced January ad spend by 10.6 per cent and the gambling market which reported a 21 per cent decline in ad spend.
“But while this result was the fourth month of negative growth, the underlying market remains generally stable over the longer seven month financial year-to-date period with bookings back just 0.6per cent to $4.07 billion. And for those seven months digital bookings are up 3.4 per cent, the Outdoor media has grown 7.7 per cent and Radio spend is up 2.9 per cent,’’ she said.