Performance during the July to September quarter is key for the media industry, with the transition from Summer into Fall; and in some markets, it represents the conclusion of a broadcast season and the start of a new one. This year’s third quarter was even more interesting, as the media industry across all Anglo markets attempted to recover from a disastrous second quarter as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown. The good news is that SMI’s comprehensive ad spend data is showing a normalization in 3Q for many countries. Here are some highlights.
In 3Q, the ad spend in all four Anglo markets (the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia) had picked up when compared to the gloomy 2Q. Collectively, the ad market in 3Q trended -15% year-over-year, compared to -38% in 2Q.
Canada, which was hit hard in 2Q (-47%), bounced back strongly to -10% in 3Q. In the U.S., ad revenue recovered from -32% in 2Q to -5% in 3Q, the lowest year-over-year decline of the four markets. In both markets, the 3Q ad spend drop-off was closer to 1Q than 2Q. The ad revenue rebound in North America, was led in part by the return of the NBA and NHL. In Australia (-26%) and the U.K. (‑20%), the ad spend rebound was not as strong, with several top-tier sporting events delayed to 4Q.