Newspapers return to agency bookings growth in August

By AdNews | 3 October 2018

Newspaper ad spend has risen for the first time in roughly three years powered by a 2.7% year-on-year growth in metropolitan bookings in August, according to Standard Media Index.

Media agency bookings were up 1.8% for the month, which means the market has recorded growth for the past 12 months. Ad spend for the calendar year is up 4.8% to a record level of $4.7 billion up to the end of August.

The channels that experienced the strongest growth were outdoor, up 22% on the same month last year, and radio, up 9.4%. TV was down 4.2% with metropolitan TV marginally down (-0.2%) and large declines in regional and subscription TV (see table below).

Digital media grew by 3.3%, cinema was down 14.6% and magazine bookings dropped 28.3%.

Most of the market growth came from automotive, banks and food, while the government category reported the largest decline due to Federal Government ad spend not being reported after the media account shifting to UM, which does not report its media bookings figures to the SMI.

SMI Australia and New Zealand managing director Jane Schulze said the highlight of August was a return to growth for newspapers.

"The print editions of Newspapers have clearly been the media sector most affected by digital disruption, but to the industry’s credit they have continued to invest in their businesses in difficult times and now it’s paying off," she said.

`"We’ve seen far lower declines in Newspaper bookings from Agencies for the past four months, with each monthly decline being less than 4%, and clearly that improved momentum has continued with the August figures now in positive territory. And to have the largest print sector of Metropolitan Press drive the turnaround augers well for the trend continuing."

SMI media bookings August 2018.png

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