Digital media ad revenue grows as print topples

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 29 July 2016
The newspaper industry body, NewsMediaWorks, has partnered with the SMI for new ad spend data

Australia’s news media sector reported $576 million in advertising revenue in the second quarter of 2016, according to the News Media Index with data collated by Standard Media Index (SMI).

The News Media Index was announced earlier this year and aims to provide a complete picture of the ad dollars invested in news media companies through a partnership of Australia’s four largest publishers - News Corp Australia, Fairfax Media, West Australian Newspapers and APN News & Media.

In the second release of the industry-wide ad revenue data, the results show while print ad revenues have decline 9.4% year-on-year, digital ad sales have increased by 14.4% since Q2 2015.

It also captures the four quarters of the 2016 financial year, showing the total industry advertising revenues of $2.3 billion, driven by 17.5% digital ad revenue growth.

ad revenue media sector graph

The sector’s total advertising revenue contracted by 5.4%, not the larger -13% as reported in SMI agency-only data for newspapers.

NewsMediaWorks CEO Mark Hollands says the latest results illustrate the true size of the sector and the robustness of the new media business in challenging economic times.

“The growth in digital revenue demonstrates the ongoing success of the industry in its transformation to create a profitable balance of print and digital news media offerings,” he says.

Hollands believes the buying decisions of media agencies continue to be out of synch with those direct advertisers.

“The recent agency-only spend data from SMI shows investment off 13% for Q2 for newspapers when compared with Q2 2015, while the whole of industry picture shows the decline to be much smaller at 5.4%,” he says.

“This disparity is significant. Advertisers with close publisher relationships, and who understand the engagement of their audiences, see the value in news media brands and remain with them because they represent a successful marketing investment.”

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