Resilient ad market in August shows an underlying ad spend +6%

Australia’s advertising market continues to defy pessimists and shrug off all economic challenges to report another month of underlying growth in August, with the headline dip of 0.9% transforming into growth of 6.2% once the impact of last year’s Tokyo Olympics was removed.

According to Standard Media Index, total August ad spend is back, just $5.9 million from last year’s record August total, but when the media most affected by last year’s Olympic broadcast are excluded (Metropolitan TV and their related Pure Play Video or Streaming Sites) the market instead shows growth of 6.2%.

And SMI AU/NZ Managing Director Jane Ractliffe says there’s no sign the current economic challenges are impacting ad demand, with SMI’s early data for September showing the market total, excluding Digital, so far back only 1.1% on last year’s record result.

Ractliffe says, “The Australian ad market is proving itself to be incredibly resilient given concerns about inflationary pressures and growing interest rates. Even with the abnormal ad spend from last year’s Olympics is included the total ad spend in August is less than $5 million below last year’s record level, and incredibly it’s 13.4% above the pre-COVID total from August 2019.

“And we can clearly see that ad demand will also be higher in September as the ad revenues collected last week show the market total is already just 1.1% below that achieved in September 2021, and that’s also excluding all Digital ad spend which will further propel market growth.” 

This month it’s the Outdoor media underpinning the Australian market, with its ad spend jumping 34.9% to a record August level as its growth accelerates out of the COVID lows. And Cinema also delivered strong August gains with its ad revenues more than doubling in August.

Radio’s ad revenues also continued to grow, this time up 2.1%, and while print newspaper ad spend fell 24.6% (in part due to the Olympics) the News Media industry delivered the highest increase in related online revenues for the month with the total up 19.6%.

But TV ad spend was back 11.1% mostly due to last year’s Tokyo Olympics as the TV broadcast only concluded on August 8. The Olympics also affected Digital media with the Video Sites sector back 15.6% due to the absence of the Olympic-inflated streaming revenues.


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