In a pleasing start to the year for the Australian advertising market, agency demand for media has reached record-high levels in the first quarter of 2015. SMI recently reported a vibrant 4.3% growth for the total market in the first three months of year and, in a sign that advertisers are spending up bigger than ever, total agency spend across the media landscape rose above $1.7 billion for the first time since we began collecting spend data in 2007.
While the newspaper and magazine sector continue to face significant structural headwinds, all other media types have reported a buoyant start to 2015. In fact, if we exclude the declines in +-print media, the total market would have risen $100 million higher year-on-year for the March quarter. Looking at SMI’s data, here’s an analysis for the rest of the market in the first quarter:
The first quarter saw many bright spots across the media landscape. Metropolitan free-to-air TV remains on top when it comes to total spend, driving up growth in each of its top five advertiser categories (automotive; food, produce & dairy; entertainment; and leisure and retail) by a combined $22 million for the quarter.
As always, the strength of the agency ad market continues to be inexorably linked to wider market conditions – and despite an economic backdrop of Federal Budget uncertainty, a free fall in the price of iron ore, and stubbornly low growth in consumer spending – these recent signs of the health in the Australian agency market is extremely heartening news following two successive quarters of decline.