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News 1 Dec 2021 - 3 min read

TV bookings down 8.4% on last year but market still up 2.7% in October: SMI

By Freya Morris - Writer
SMI Standard Media Index Jane Ractliffe

Two sporting grand finals in October 2020 and a corresponding 8 per cent fall in TV bookings this year wasn’t enough to reverse the growth trend as agency bookings lifted 2.7 per cent in October over the same period last year.

What you need to know:

  • Ad spend from media agencies for October rose 2.7 per cent compared to last year despite a fall in TV bookings and AFL and NRL finals this time in 2020, SMI says.
  • The Australian ad market has now reported nine consecutive months of growth.
  • Digital ad spend, especially on social media sites, and spend on outdoor media has kept the market growing despite an 8.4 per cent drop in TV spend year on year.

Media agency ad spend for the month of October rose by 2.7 per cent year-on-year despite a significant fall in TV spend owing to last year’s delayed AFL and NRL grand finals, Standard Media Index (SMI) figures show.

This means ad spend was 1.6 per cent above October 2019, despite ongoing Covid restrictions. The Australian market has now reported nine consecutive months of growth in spend.

TV spend fell 8.4 per cent year-on-year and newspapers fell 8.7 per cent – both sporting finals were held in October last year due to Covid.

“We had expected the overall market to deliver lower or maybe stable year-on-year levels of ad spend so this higher result does underscore the level of underlying demand now in the market,” SMI AU/NZ Managing Director Jane Ractliffe said.

The falls were offset by gains from the Social Media sites, which rose 18.6 per cent, and a continued post-Covid recovery by Outdoor media, which reported 12.7 per cent growth in ad spend.

Governments spent 60.5 per cent more this year than last year due to strong Covid messaging, while Retail spent the most despite a 9.4 per cent drop year-on-year in spend.

Supply issues continue to plague the Automotive sector, prompting a reverse in recent growth - total bookings were down by 30 per cent.

The Australian market has grown 23.2 per cent over the first 10 months of 2021 to a level SMI says is “well above the amount spent in 2019”.

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