SMI Data: Tough Start to New Financial Year For Agency Market

SMI Data: Tough Start to New Financial Year For Agency Market

Australia’s media agency market has started the new financial year in an uncertain state, with total demand back 12.5 per cent to $496.6 million (before latest digital bookings are added at month end) as the market struggles against a tough comparative period.

The market had reached a record July result in 2016, partially buoyed by the end of the federal election and the beginning of Rio Olympics-related advertising campaigns.

As such SMI’s July 2017 results are so far showing lower bookings for every major media.

However, this month SMI has also introduced a new data dimension – called ‘competitive media type’ (CMT) – to enable users of the database to easily see the combined ad spend for Australia’s traditional AND the related digital media in the one data view.

This new data view was created by mapping all digital bookings related to traditional media to the `parent’ CMT. For example, bookings for are shown under the Newspaper CMT and bookings for Plus7 are shown under the Television CMT.

As such for the first time this month SMI has shown market figures arranged by competitive media type (see following table).

It shows that while the overall market is back the declines among major media are far reduced when their equivalent digital ad spend is shown alongside.

SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Schulze (main photo) said the introduction of the CMT dimension was an important step in the reporting of ad spend, as it better reflects the market reality that many traditional media are no longer `silos’ but are also significant digital companies.

“SMI is seeking to provide the industry with a more realistic picture of the media agency advertising expenditure market as the old media `silos’ of pure newspaper or radio ad spend figures are becoming redundant,’’ she said.

“For many years now we have lived in a multimedia world and Australia’s traditional media are at the forefront of grasping that opportunity with many of our `old’ media companies among the country’s largest digital players. ”

She said users could still view the agency data by the traditional media types, but SMI was recommending viewing the data by CMT for a more complete market view.

And CMT ad spend data is also available for SMI’s major product categories.

“This is also a hugely important tool for advertisers as for the first time they can easily see how their sector is splitting its ad spend within competitive media,’’ Shulze said.

“So they no longer have to separately look at, say, Insurance ad spend for TV then dive back into the data to find the same for TV websites… now it’s all viewable together or with TV and digital spend split.’’

In terms of the July SMI results, within the category data the strongest growth seen in July was in the restaurants category (mostly fast food restaurants) where total agency ad spend soared 22.2 per cent to $28.4 million, with most of the extra investment being directed towards Television.

On the flipside, retail advertisers delivered another month of lower ad spend but this time the decline was far more pronounced (-21 per cent to $40.8 million).

SMI AU July 2017 media data

SMI: July 2017 agency ad spend (interim digital results)
Competitive media typeMedia type% Variance
Television total-7.4%
Pure play digitalDigital-21.9%
Radio total0.6%
(Digital ex programmatic)Digital-26.2%
Newspapers total-36.2%
Magazines total-21.0%
Grand Total-12.5%


SMI AU calendar year-to-date (Jan-Jul) media data

SMI: agency market data CYTD (inc govt bookings)
Competitive media typeMedia typeCYTD variance
Television total-2.5%
Digital total2.6%
Outdoor total7.5%
Radio total1.6%
(Digital ex programmatic)Digital-13.4%
Newspapers total-21.2%
Magazines total-12.1%
Grand Total-2.3%

SMI AU category data example: insurance ad spend CYTD

SMI category data: insurance category ad spend by competitive media type
Competitive media typeMedia typeCYTD 2016CYTD 2017VarianceVariance
Television total137,521,589137,357,333-164,256-0.1%
Radio total24,105,05425,342,6821,237,6285.1%
Newspapers total4,435,3166,415,8021,980,48644.7%
Cinema 2,534,6671,681,113-853,554-33.7%
Magazines total1,865,8941,663,190-202,704-10.9%
Insurance Category total ad spend243,126,285252,341,6479,215,3623.8%


Influencing factors: July 2017

Events and timing issues affecting the July 2017 ad spend data:

  • Abnormal government category ad spend in July 2016 due to federal election.
  • Beginning of Olympic-related advertising campaigns ahead of the August Rio Olympics.


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Jane Schulze SMI Data

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