SMI – Strong gains for digital, cinema and radio in March ad spend

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Ad spending, as measured by media agency bookings, rose 2.8% in March, with strong increases in digital, film and radio.

And Standard Media Index (SMI) futures pace data shows stronger months ahead, with spending in early April (excluding digital) just 2.6% lower than the same month last year with a week of remaining negotiation to be included.

Jane Ractliffe, managing director of SMI AU/NZ, says the result reflects the strong level of market consistency following the disruptions caused by COVID.

“Australia’s advertising market has not only rebuilt since COVID, but has also entered a new period of stability as there has been year-on-year growth in monthly advertising spend for 14 consecutive months and only one month of negative ad spend in 17 months,” she says.

“It is truly an extraordinary turnaround from the dark days of mid-2020 when the impact of the COVID pandemic was at its peak.

“Now the advertising market has followed the economy in learning to live with COVID and that provides more certainty for all media players.”

In the March quarter, ad spend increased 9.4%, with TV media up 2.2%, digital up 19.2% and outdoor bookings up 8.7%.

It also ensured that the year-to-date market value is at an all-time high, with the total up 14.2% to cross the $6 billion mark for the first time.

Digital remains the most important medium, having increased advertising expenditure for the year by 24.2% (mainly due to increased bookings in the search and social media sectors), while outdoor bookings increased by 11.9% and TV ad spend increased by 7.4%.

mid March 2022

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