Independent media agencies are forecasting strong growth in 2023, despite prevailing economic headwinds. Almost 60 per cent of Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA) members expect to grow between 10 and 20 per cent and more next year, according to the latest Pulse Survey.
Indie agencies have also reported solid growth in 2022, with 67 per cent up by between 10 and 20 per cent and more in revenue.
While three quarters of agencies are concerned about the economy in 2023, the mood is still buoyant, with the most growth among agencies forecast to occur in the second half of CY 2023.
Among media channels, digital looks to be the big winner in 2023 for increased investment.
Digital video was the main beneficiary of increased investment from media agencies next year with 87.5 per cent of agencies expecting the channel to grow considerably or slightly.
It was followed by CTV and BVOD with considerable or slightly more investment reported by 86 per cent of agencies. Digital out-of-home was nominated by 77 per cent of agencies, digital social (76 per cent), digital search (66 per cent), digital audio (64 per cent), audio streaming (57 per cent) and out-of-home (56 per cent).
“The independent media agency sector has proven itself to be the most resilient in our industry and despite inflation and cost of living concerns heading into 2023, our members remain upbeat and confident about their growth in the year ahead. This points to a growing groundswell of support for indie agencies and client growth in the sector,” IMAA CEO, Sam Buchanan (lead image), said.
“Independent agencies are well placed in challenging economic times because they are unencumbered by international head office pressures and have the ability to flex and be agile to meet client demands and focus on delivering true return on investment.”
The IMAA has grown to almost 150 members this year and launched a raft of initiatives, including launching its Diversity & Inclusion Council; Project Earth and several partnerships for a more sustainable industry; more than 30 group deals, ranging from insurance to research, data and insights for members to access; and a range of partner events including Audio Unlimited and Digital Deep Dive. The IMAA was also successful in achieving the first stage of its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and a partnership with King’s Narrative to improve the lives of Aboriginal people.
Next year, several other large initiatives will be launched, including an industry event to kick off the year, plus a key focus on industry education.
“Next year will be even bigger and better for the IMAA. As the talent crisis starts to slow, retaining and growing talent is a key focus among our members. To that end, we will launch the IMAA Academy – a certified agency staff education and training program, a women’s mentoring program, and trade campaign in the UK to attract talent to work in indie agencies in Australia,” Buchanan said.
“We will also continue our vision to make our industry a better place and one to be proud of, with more D&I, ESG and RAP initiatives.”