SMI Data: February Ad Spends Up 3.3% YOY

SMI Data: February Ad Spends Up 3.3% YOY

Australia’s media agency market has now clocked more than a year of consecutive monthly growth after the value of ad demand in February grew 3.3 per cent year-on-year to $595.7 million despite the lack of the key Australian Open broadcast which featured last year.

The strength of the market was underscored by the fact total spend was just 1.9 pre cent (or $11.2 million) below the record level of February ad spend reported in 2018.

SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Ractliffe said the result underscored the current buoyancy in the market given the Australian Open was moved to February last year due to COVID.

“Usually when such large sporting events are missing in a month it results in an overall reduction in year-on-year ad spend so the fact that we are reporting continued growth is a very positive sign for the broader ad market,’’ she said.

“But the absence of the event was of course the main reason for a 7.3 per cent decline in TV ad spend in February, with the lower demand also flowing through to a reduced level bookings to the TV streaming sites market.’’

However, the TV streaming market was the one of the few Digital sectors to reduce ad spend in February with the media again emerging as the largest after growing total bookings by 15.9 per cent, with the largest gains seen in the search and social media sectors.

Elsewhere, the most COVID-affected media of outdoor and cinema continued their recovery with bookings lifting by 7.5 per cent and 105 per cent respectively.

Ractliffe said the positive February results also ensured the new calendar year had begun with a record level of ad spend with the total for the January/ February period up 11.7 per cent on those same months last year. And that’s 3.8 per cent – or $43.6 million – above the previous record for this period set in 2018.

And it’s a similar trend over the eight months of the current financial year with the market’s value up 15.5 per cent to a total which is 4.2 per cent above the previous record set in the FY2019 period.

And this month it’s also notable that regional media is reporting across the board growth in ad spend, with regional TV bookings up 2.5 per cent, ad spend for regional radio up 5.1 per cent and the regional newspaper market also continues to recover with its bookings up 13.1 per cent.

Those results have been significantly assisted by increased government category ad spend as the level of bookings from that category continues to grow with the total +74 per cent in February as pre- Federal election spending begins to kick in along with the continued COVID messaging.

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