The Standard Media Index (SMI), which aggregates the booking data of Australia's advertising revenue experts - the top media buying agencies - by individual media each month, showed August 2009 revenues are up nine per cent on July 2009.
| Media|| % Change Aug 09 v Jul 09|
| Radio|| 5%|
| Out of Home|| 32%|
| Other|| 6% |
| Newspapers|| 8%|
| Magazines|| 41%|
| Digital|| 5%|
| Cinema|| 19%|
| Totals|| 9%|
*All TV figures represent free-to-air and subscription TV
SMI Publisher Jane Schulze said the August figures were the first in the SMI dataset to show any month-on-month increase since May - suggesting advertising revenues may have bounced off their low point.
"This is the first good news to emerge for the media sector for months. SMI figures show the media agency advertising spend has been falling most of the year, so to see a change in direction can only be seen as positive news for the media sector,'' she said.
"If sustained into September, it could suggest the end of the worst advertising downturn in living memory.''
SMI's independent revenue figures are the first to be available at the start of the month and represent the bulk of advertising revenue in media like metropolitan TV and radio, outdoor and magazines, but less than half the revenue in media that is more dependent on direct advertising, such as regional newspapers.
In August, the highest percentage growth from the previous month was recorded by the magazine industry. But that sector is now coming off a considerably lower revenue base after being one of the hardest hit sectors in the economic downturn.
While SMI data shows the online advertising market grew 22 per cent in the first half (and only 10 per cent in the second quarter) the level of growth slowed again to eight per cent in July-August. However it remained the only major category to register growth in that period.
SMI's first dataset has also produced some fascinating insights to Australian media, including:
- The `death' of Australian newspapers is greatly exaggerated with recent declines nowhere near that witnessed overseas
- Online display revenues are by far the largest category in terms of media agency digital spend, with search revenues at half that level
- The diversity of Australian media, with media agencies booking ads on more than 31,000 individual media
- This year media buyers have spent more on advertising on mobile phones than in the whole of 2008
SMI CEO Sue Fennessy said the SMI data will ensure a greater level of confidence among advertisers and investors in the media market.
"The SMI media agency data is the first time the industry has had access to real time, accurate data across all media. That means the conversations between media buyers and sellers will be based on `real demand' with the suggestion that the sales cycle will be shortened as a result. "
SMI's technology partner, BCC AdSystems, has collated the thousands of media bookings into a database that can be quickly and easily interrogated.
SMI has struck individual agreements with all Australia's major media agencies. They include Carat, GroupM (MediaCom, Mindshare, Mediaedge:cia and MAXUS), Ikon Communications, Initiative, Mitchell Communications Group, Universal McCann, OMD, PHD, Starcom MediaVest and ZenithOptimedia.
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