Ad market records first growth in 26 months

Staff Writer

New data has emerged from late last year, which shows the media agency funded ad market is bouncing back.

In November 2020, overall ad spend via media agencies was up 8.3% year-on-year, the first positive figure on over two years.

Much of the recovery was driven by television, which was up 18.8% year-on-year, and digital which climbed 17.2%.

Other mediums were still suffering from year-on-year declines, including cinema (down 75.2%), magazines (down 35.8%), newspapers (down 21.4%), and outdoor (down 15.5%).

Radio, however, was only down a nominal 0.4% year-on-year, a much more promising result than previous months.

The market was already in decline prior to COVID-19, with radio down 12.6% in March. By April, it was down 45% year-on-year, and in May this had surged to a catastrophic 55.8%. Radio ad spend in June was down 42.6% year-on-year.

This financial year, the declines have somewhat improved, with July down 28.4%, August down 32.8%, September figures showing the decline was at 27.3% year-on-year, and most recently, October figures down 17% year-on-year.

SMI AU/NZ’s managing director, Jane Ractliffe, said Australia’s media industry has suffered through the worst period in its history, but the dark days were now over.

“This level of higher November ad demand clearly highlights the start of a new growth phase for our market, given the strength of the renewed confidence,” she said.

“And the strong support by the largest product categories shows the confidence is coming from a broad base of large advertisers that are recommitting to higher media investment.”

Retail ad spend across all mediums was up 18.2%, while food/produce/dairy climbed 92%, and communications (39.2%) and gambling (54.6%) were also up.

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