SMI: Dark days of Australian ad spend are over

SMI's November 2020 show first return to year-on-year spending gains in advertising spend in 26 months

Latest SMI ad spend figures in Australia
Latest SMI ad spend figures in Australia

The SMI is claiming Australia’s “dark days” of media spending decline are over with 8.3 per cent year-on-year gains recorded in November 2020.

The latest Standard Media Index (SMI) figures show Australia’s media industry recorded its first year-on-year spending gains in 26 consecutive months, up 8.3 per cent in November 2020 compared to the previous year. The growth was due to strong TV and digital advertising spending as well as key product categories upping their ad investments once more.

TV, for example, reported its second month of double-digit growth in November with totals up 18.8 per cent and metro TV up 21.8 per cent. Digital was the second-best performer in November, experiencing growth of 17. 2 per cent thanks higher ad spend across all digital sectors.

Driving the more positive figures were Australia’s top 10 product category spenders. According to SMI, these brands lifted advertising investments in November by 20.7 per cent, with retail (+18.2 per cent), food (+92 per cent), gambling (+54.6 per cent) and communications (39.3 per cent) sectors all recording significant spend increases. Even automotive, one of the harder hit sectors by COVID, lifted TV bookings by 11.8 per cent in November, SMI stated.

For SMI A/NZ managing director, Jane Ractliffe, November ad spend and slowing ad decline since July clearly demonstrate the start of a new growth phase for the Australian market and signifies renewed confidence. Cumulative financial year-to-date figures show November's contribution brings total ad spend between July and November 2020 to -8.8 per cent. 

“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,” she said.

Also showing green shoots was the metro and regional radio market, which both reported higher November ad spend. Newspaper websites also saw a 14 per cent lift, while outdoor media was returning to form, although bookings remained down 15.8 per cent year-on-year in November.  

Other channels that remained in hefty decline in November were magazines (-35.8 per cent), cinema (-75.2 per cent) and newspapers (-21.4 per cent).

SMI said the stronger November results overall are improving its longer-term trend data with the decline in financial year-to-date bookings reduced to 8.8 per cent. In that period, digital ad spend has increased by 4.5 per cent, TV bookings are flat but metropolitan TV bookings are positive (+0.8 per cent). The group added TV bookings in December are also tracking 3.4 per cent higher.  

``As is the case in November, it’s the largest categories delivering most of the strong financial year demand with the 10 largest categories collectively growing their ad spend over the past five months by 1.1 per cent,” Ractliffe continued.

Categories exhibiting the most growth are food advertisers (+17.3 per cent), retail (+8.9 per cent) and toiletries/cosmetics (+20.3 per cent) advertisers.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia.

 

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