Cautious start to the year but ad spend lifts for metro TV, regional radio and retail outdoor

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 15 February 2018

Ad spend has been “above average” for metropolitan TV, regional radio and retail outdoor in an otherwise 'stable' start to 2018, according to SMI figures.

Metropolitan TV media bookings were up 5.1% on last January and had its strongest start for three years.

The strong demand in metropolitan TV reflects the views of senior media buyers who recently told AdNews that “TV's mojo has returned”.

The overall market is down 8.2% to $425.3 million, but this is mostly down to “abnormally high level of late digital bookings”.

In the first seven months of this financial year, the market is showing growth of 1.3% to a record level of $4.2 billion.

Regional radio remains one of the best performing media sectors in the past year (total Agency bookings are up 11% on a cumulative month basis) and the growth in retail outdoor (up 17.7% YoY) has helped outdoor to a record level of January agency bookings.

From a product categories perspective, the SMI data highlights the continuing demand from government advertisers, with two state elections helping push spend up 13.8% to $14.6 million.

The summer's major sporting events, including the Ashes, Australian Open and Big Bash, pushed gambling ad spend up 29% to $13 million.

On the flip side, SMI reports diminishing ad demand from retailers, down 15.5% in January, largely due to a 40% decline in hardware and department stores. Travel media bookings were also down YoY by 18%.

“The overall retail figure masks ongoing growth in ad spend from discount stores and online retailers who have collectively growth their January ad spend by 32% to $6.7 million to emerge as the second largest retail sub category this month,” SMI ANZ managing director Jane Ractliffe says.

“And interestingly, most of that extra media investment is being directed to Television, with those advertisers more than doubling their TV ad spend to $3.6 million to give TV 55% of the Category’s total investment. In contrast these advertisers spent just 26% of their media budgets on Digital in January.”

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