News media ad spend going down, but slower, says NMI

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Australian metro and national newspapers have led an improvement in ad revenue, according to new News Media Index figures.

While the total news media advertising revenue market dipped by 6.3 per cent, year-on-year, in the third quarter of 2018 to $469.7 million, the figures are seen as signs of a reevaluation of news media by marketers and agencies.

NewsMediaWorks - which supports the SMI-based metric - says the rate of decline in news media ad revenue has "slowed significantly", despite a tough September for agency-only ad spend, compared to a big 2017 driven by government and interest group advertising on the same sex marriage plebiscite.

Metro newspapers saw a 1.5 per cent increase in display ad revenue in the same period, with display growth particularly strong in NSW, where the spend was up 6.8 per cent. In Victoria metro was up 6.6 per cent and Queensland it increased by 4.5 per cent in Q3.

For digital ad revenue, news media is growing at a faster rate than the SMI agency-only market. The News Media Index shows digital revenues up by 8.1 per cent in Q3, while SMI's agency only data shows digital ad spend grew a lesser 4.1 per cent.

Australia's news media sector remains the third largest media sector by ad revenue, reporting $2 billion for the full 2018 financial year.

NewsMediaWorks chief executive Peter Miller says he is encouraged that news media is being reappraised by agencies and marketers: "The fact that the bedrock of print advertising is metro newspapers demonstrates that our core business is strong.

"Digital ad revenues are also growing and outperforming the total market, which is supported by our emma data showing that 13.1 million Australians read digital news media."

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