SMI's March numbers see agency bookings back 10.6%
Stong growth in Newspaper ad spend is the common early COVID-19 ad spend trend across the Australian and New Zealand media markets, although total media market trends vary markedly in March.
Australian media Agency bookings are back 10.6% in March as a lower level than usual of late Digital bookings failed to push the market into a single-digit decline, as had been expected.
However, if the figures were normalised for last year’s pre-Election spike in Political Party/Union bookings the market total is back 9.3%. But in New Zealand media Agency bookings grew 1.1%, giving that market its third consecutive month of growth.
And as the first social restrictions began to take effect in late March we can see some evidence of the market reaction in these SMI figures, with the most obvious being the growth in Newspaper bookings.
Growth in Australian National Newspaper bookings was the strongest in any media this month with the total soaring 30.2%, while in NZ total media Agency bookings to Newspapers lifted 35.7% to give that media its highest March ad spend since 2017.
SMI AU/NZ Managing Director Jane Ractliffe said as the COVID pandemic hit the NZ media was in a stronger financial position than Australia’s as NZ’s media has recorded a 4% increase in financial year ad spend while in Australia the market is back 6.6% over that period.
"This context is important as going forward we can see future confirmed bookings in NZ are already slightly above that evident in Australia, and that stands to reason as confidence in the NZ media market has been at a far higher level for the past nine months,’’ she said.
For the month of April, SMI’s Forward Pacings data shows that with a week of trading still to go the value of ad spend in the Australian market in April was 57% of that achieved in April 2019 (excluding Digital) while in New Zealand the value of confirmed media was 59.7% of that reported in April last year.