SMI Data: Ad Spends Continue Their Trajectory In March

SMI Data: Ad Spends Continue Their Trajectory In March

Australia’s media agency market is thriving post COVID, reporting record levels of advertising demand for both the March quarter and financial year-to-date periods while also positioning itself for further growth into April and May.

The growth trend also continued into March, with the value of ad spend for that month lifting 2.8 per cent as the digital, cinema and radio media all delivered strong gains. Although the March total was not at the same levels seen in March 2018 and 2019, the increase continued the consistent monthly growth reported in this market over the past year.

And SMI’s Forward Pacings data shows more gains are expected in April, with early spend (ex digital) only 2.6 per cent below April 2021 levels with a week’s left of trading yet to be included.

SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Ractliffe said the result reflected the strong level of consistency now evident in the market following the huge disruptions during the COVID period.

“Australia’s ad market has not only been rebuilding since COVID, but it’s also entered a new period of stability as there’s been year-on-year growth in monthly ad spend for 14 consecutive months and only one month of negative ad spend in 17 months,’’ she said.

“It really is an extraordinary turnaround from the dark days in mid-2020 when the impact of the COVID pandemic was at its peak. Now the ad market has followed the economy in learning to live with COVID and that ensures more certainly for all media stakeholders.’’

Given the ongoing growth, Ractliffe said SMI was reporting a 9.4 per cent increase in ad spend over the March quarter, with the value of ad spend to the TV media up 2.2 per cent, digital ad spend up 19.2 per cent and outdoor bookings up 8.7 per cent.

That has also ensured the market’s value over the financial year-to-date is at a record level, with the total up 14.2 per cent to move through the $6 billion mark for the first time.

Digital remains the largest media having lifted FY ad spend by 24.2 per cent (mostly driven by higher bookings to the search and social media sectors), while outdoor bookings have grown 11.9 per cent and TV ad spend is up 7.4 per cent.

More detail on the latest ad spend trends is available in the table below:

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