SMI - Strong gains for digital, cinema and radio in March ad spend

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 2 May 2022

Advertising spend, as measured by media agency bookings, lifted 2.8% in March with strong gains by digital, cinema and radio.

And forward pacings data from the Standard Media Index (SMI) shows more big months ahead, with early April spend (ex digital) only 2.6% below the same month last year with a week left of trading yet to be included.

Jane Ractliffe, SMI AU/NZ managing director, says the result reflects the strong level of consistency in the market following the disruptions by COVID.

"Australia’s ad market has not only been rebuilding since COVID, but it’s also entered a new period of stability as there’s been year-on-year growth in monthly ad spend for 14 consecutive months and only one month of negative ad spend in 17 months,’’ she says.

"It really is an extraordinary turnaround from the dark days in mid-2020 when the impact of the COVID pandemic was at its peak.

"Now the ad market has followed the economy in learning to live with COVID and that ensures more certainly for all media stakeholders.’’

Over the March quarter, ad spend is up 9.4% with TV media 2.2% higher, Digital 19.2% and outdoor bookings up 8.7%.

That has also ensured the market’s value over the financial year-to-date is at a record level, with the total up 14.2% to move through the $6 billion mark for the first time.

Digital remains the largest media having lifted financial year ad spend by 24.2% (mostly driven by higher bookings to the search and social media sectors), while outdoor bookings have grown 11.9% and TV ad spend is up 7.4%.

smi march 2022

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