SMI - Australia hits all-time record ad spend in November 2021

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 10 January 2022
Credit: Oscar Sutton via Unsplash

Ad spend, as defined by media agency bookings, was a record $852 million in November 2021.

SMI (Standard Media Index) data shows a 1.5% increase in media investment compared to the same months in 2020. 

And the surge continues, with early data for December showing that 97% of last December’s total ad spend already confirmed, with digital spend excluded.

Jane Ractliffe, SMI managing director AU/NZ, says the advertising market is performing well above many other sectors.

"Given the level of uncertainty within the economy, it’s incredible to see such a resilient advertising market in November with the total media investment of $852 million a monthly figure a level of ad spend that has never before been achieved in Australia," she says.

For the financial year, total ad spend is up 16.3% from the same period in 2020 and up 6.4% on the same five months of 2019. The level of 2021 ad spend is 25% higher than SMI reported for the same five month ten years ago in 2011.

November was also notable, with both Australia and NZ showing digital media has overtaken traditional TV to emerge as the largest stand-alone media.

Digital ad spend was up  7.6% in total for November. Thiscoincided with lower TV spend following TV’s record post-COVID surge last year.

However, if traditional TV and its related Digital BVOD bookings are combined the `Video’ media remains the largest media.

Radio delivered the highest percentage growth in ad spend in November (+8.5%) while COVID restrictions again affected Outdoor and it reported a flat result.

And an extra Sunday last November hurt both the Newspapers and Magazine media this month given one less edition.

The Government category continued to underpin total ad demand, emerging as the third largest category after lifting bookings a remarkable 41.1%.

That partly offset the ongoing declines in Auto Brand ad spend with that total back 19.3% in November as restricted supply lines dampen demand.

And for the 11 months of the calendar year total ad spend was up 20.8% on the same months in 2020, which also represents a 1.8% increase in ad spend over 2019.

smi nov 2021

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