Outdoor accelerates over newspapers in media spend

James McGrath
By James McGrath | 16 February 2015

Outdoor has accelerated past newspapers in total media spend, with newspapers continuing to haemorrhage red ink against a broader uplift in agency bookings.

Media buyers are spending 1.8% more than they were in January last year, with $467.01 million in media placed last month. Print-based mediums continued their decline while digital continues a meteoric rise.

The stats come from the latest Standard Media Index release, which tracks media bookings each month.

The leading categories by January ad spend were:


  • Television – up 2.4% year on year to $222.82 million


  • Digital – up 9.7% year on year to $96 million



  • Outdoor – up 3% year on year to $49.76 million



  • Newspapers – down 17.1% year on year to $42.69 million



  • Radio – up 7.9% year on year to $36.91 million



  • Magazines – down 14.7% year on year to $9.32 million



  • Cinema – up 10% year on year to $6.8 million



Still the largest medium by advertising spend, TV grew by 2.4% year on year with a total spend of $222.82 million being allocated, but below trend growth in metropolitan TV will give pause.

Metro TV grew by 1.3%, with $159.18 million placed by media buyers in key markets.

Meanwhile, there was above trend growth in regional TV with a monthly spend of $40.71 million a 7.7% increase year on year.


Digital was the fastest growing category for the month with growth of 9.7% year on year to book $96 million of agency dollars.

Within digital, social networking grew by 60.1% year on year with a monthly spend of $6.4 million.

The biggest-spending category of digital was content sites, with that category growing by 4.6% to $35.3 million.

Video and mobile vendor categories grew by 38.5% and 24.3% respectively.

The only two categories in digital to decline year on year were exchanges and ad networks.


It was red ink across the board for newspapers, with a whopping 17.1% contraction year on year.

Metro newspapers suffered an 18.4% drop to $22.9 million, while the regionals fared a little better with a 10.4% drop to $9.09 million, although a double-figure decline is hardly cause of celebration.


A demonstration of both growth in outdoor and a decline in newspapers is that outdoor now has a higher media spend allocated to it than newspapers.

Outdoor grew by 3% year on year to make $49.76 million in the month of January.

Last January, media agencies spent $51.51 million on newspapers and only $48.30 million on outdoor.

How times change.


Radio was a bright spot for legacy media, with it booking a 7.9% increase in media agency dollars for the month to $36.91 million spent.

While metropolitan radio stations attracted the lion's share of the dollars, regional radio positively boomed.

In fact, it managed to grow its agency booking by 51.7% for the month, up to $7.76 million.


Magazines continued the slide for paper-based mediums, with consumer mags reporting in with a 20% drop year on year to $6.57 million.

Newspaper magazines also declined, down 4.9% to $2.14 million. However, one bright spot was that trade magazines enjoyed an uplift of 32.4% to $602,008.

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