HT&E's take on the advertising market

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 20 November 2019

HT&E, the owner of the Australian Radio Network (ARN), says all media in Australia face challenging conditions.

In a presentation at a conference by investment bank UBS, the company says a weaker October resulted in total market decline of 6.5%, or a drop of $392million.

Here's how HT&E sees the state of advertising:

ad market


ARN says revenue in October fell but improved on the September quarter with ratings performance helping to
underpin commercial share position.

"Late trading will be key driver of 2019 outcome as November and December pacing behind last year with limited visibility," says ARN. 

The company has launched a review to look for cost savings.

Trading updates from other media players, including Nine and Seven West Media, show the advertising market deteriorated in recent weeks.

Early SMI numbers show most advertising mediums, including digital, had booking declines in October, another indication of a soft advertising market.

This would mean another negative growth month in media agency spend, the 14th in a row, when numbers for October are finalised.

The advertising sector has been hit by a string negative factors this year including federal and state elections, the financial services royal commission and a contraction in housing and automotive markets.

Analysts have downgraded the outlook for advertising in free-to-air television in Australia. The industry had been expecting a pickup in business in the December quarter after a weak three months to September but the lift didn't come.

Macquarie Bank researchers, in a note to clients, headline their report: “On track for worst half of TV ad market declines since the GFC!”

Broadcast media group Southern Cross Austereo last month reported a 8.5% fall in September quarter revenue compared to the same three months last year on a weak advertising market.

Advertising markets remain short and volatile and SCA will continue to focus on maximising its market share while maintaining strict cost control across all divisions," the company says.

In August the company posted full year revenue of $661 million, up just 0.5%, calling advertising conditions "challenging".

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