Regional radio a bright spot as SMI shows ad spend recovery

Former Assistant Editor
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The media industry continues to rebuild in Australia amid the ongoing impact of coronavirus.

Decline in ad spend by marketers slowed to 28.4% in July, with radio specifically falling 29%, but there were positive signs, especially for regional radio.

Radio ad spend in regional markets dropped only 11.6%, with social media also slowing the drop, down 13.8%.

SMI AU/NZ Managing Director Jane Ractliffe is encouraged by the result, and said the data shows the decline in spend will continue to slow in August.

“It could be that for August the percentage decline reduces into the teens as we’re seeing strong forward bookings for numerous product categories and both the Television and Digital media are more quickly returning to a pre-COVID state with Digital’s July decline of 15.6% the lowest of any major media,’’ she said.

“And for the month of October the value of committed ad spend is now only six percentage points behind where it was at this time last year.’’

SMI also released figures for New Zealand, with a decline in spend of 21.1% reflecting the lesser impact of COVID-19 across the ditch.

Regional radio was also a shining light in NZ, with bookings actually lifting by 15.6%.

“All markets are slowly rebuilding after COVID inflicted huge declines in advertising expenditure and it’s great to be able to report the early signs of growth as the media world tries to return to a new normal,” Ractliffe said.


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