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SMI to Deliver Extra COVID 19 Ad Demand Updates

Author: Jane Ractliffe

Earlier and More Demand Insights to Keep Market Informed

AUSTRALIA’S most trusted source of advertising demand intel, Standard Media Index, is implementing a series of new features to ensure its clients and media Agency partners have access to more and faster information on the impact of COVID 19 on our advertising markets.

SMI’s AU/NZ Managing Director Jane Ractliffe said she is already fielding queries on the potential impact of the virus on advertising demand – particularly among key product categories – and in this time of uncertainty SMI wants to do more than ever to ensure an informed market.

“Never more than now is access to accurate advertising demand detail more important. The last thing we need is inaccurate supposition about the state of advertising demand. We all know the market will suffer, but it won’t necessarily be to the same degree across all media and some product categories are likely to increase their media investment,’’ she said.

“So we’re implementing new measures to ensure the latest data gets to the market more quickly so media companies and advertisers can make decisions with more confidence and knowledge.’’

SMI’s new initiatives include:

  • SMI Special Ad Demand Updates. A new newsletter providing earlier insights into advertising demand in the Australian market, and for the first time also updating the market on how COVID 19 is also impacting ad demand in NZ, the US and UK. And from mid-May SMI will be releasing its first Canadian database (including ad payment data from all multinational media Agencies) so from then the Updates will also include Canadian ad spend trends.
  • SMI Future Pacing data to be released earlier to media clients. SMI tracks future advertising demand across all product categories by collecting confirmed ad spend for the future 3 months. This will now be provided to media clients as soon as it arrives, rather than waiting to be included in the SMI Reports.
  • SMI Future Pacings History: SMI will have been collecting Future Pacings data in Australia for a year from April. This means media clients will have reliable historic data from which to determine the degree to which each Category’s future demand has changed compared to future demand levels seen last year
  • SMI Special Commentary: All SMI reports to now include extra detail on how product categories are being impacted by COVID 19
  • SMI has released extra Digital ad spend insights to our media Agency partners, so they can provide their clients category ad spend detail for all Digital sectors for the first time. This includes Category ad demand intel on the Search, Programmatic, Social Media, Video Sites and Content Sites sectors

Ractliffe said SMI was also planning other measures to provide even more insights into how COVID 19 will impact advertising demand, but hoped these first initiatives would give the market a base from which to operate with more confidence.

“Instead of waiting to release the full advertising market data in reports, we’ll provide these Special Updates as soon as we receive the data so in some cases the information could get to our clients two to three days earlier. They’ll then receive the usual reports with more detail at the usual time,’’ she said.

Ractliffe also believed it was important to track the virus’ impact on advertising demand across other media markets so advertisers at least have a base from which to compare their media investment decisions.

“Last year Australia’s advertisers were way out of step with global norms with their gloomy view on advertising demand. The same global issues were affecting all sophisticated advertising markets but while Australia’s advertisers reported a 5.2% fall in CY2019 media investment, the SMI US data showed that advertising market grew 3.7% last year and UK advertisers grew their media investment 3.8% despite all the uncertainty of Brexit,’’ she said.

“Our hope is that if Australian marketers have robust comparable data from other major media markets they will no longer be acting in a vacuum and will therefore think twice before slicing media budgets.’’

She also hoped access to more Digital ad spend data via their Agency partners will give advertisers a far more informed view of the Digital marketplace, which should provide advertisers with more confidence to invest in this and other media.

“The SMI data provides the only true view of Digital advertising expenditure given we collect this detail directly from the media Agency payment systems so it’s the only way clients can get the detail they need on their Category’s demand across each Digital sector,’’ Ractliffe said.

Ractliffe noted all traditional media now also offer large elements of Digital media, so the access to more detailed Category ad spend in the Digital world will in turn also assist other media.

“The Print media has always had the largest Digital share relative to its traditional revenues, but with the growth in TV streaming sites and podcasting we’re quickly seeing online revenues increase for other traditional media businesses. And Outdoor has already proven its expertise in introducing Digital as a new advertising format,’’ she said.


For further information contact:

Jane Ractliffe

SMI AU/NZ Managing Director

0401 704 348


About Standard Media Index

Standard Media Index (SMI) was established in 2009 in Sydney and has offices in New York, London and Madrid.  SMI partners with leading global media buying agencies to provide independent, accurate and timely advertising expenditure data to its clients to facilitate informed analysis of the media sector and product category expenditure. Data is sourced directly from advertising agencies’ billing systems and then aggregated to show the combined picture of media Agency ad spend across all major media, media sectors, 41 product categories and 130 Digital product categories.  It allows subscribers to monitor and analyse key data points that can be actioned to grow share and make better investment decisions. SMI provides the only clear picture on how ad dollars are being spent. Its Australian data covers more than 90% of all Agency spend and SMI works with media Agencies in more than 15 global markets.

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