Australia's only measure of media agency bookings, the Standard Media Index (SMI), has revealed the advertising recovery is continuing with total bookings lifting 6 per cent in September over August to $552.4 million.
But the rate of growth, which is the third consecutive monthly increase, was slower than the 11 per cent increase achieved in August over July.
Leading the market growth in September was the television sector (up 9 per cent on August), followed by magazines (bookings grew 8 per cent) and the newspaper sector (up 5 per cent). Cinema grew by 12 per cent.
And at the end of the September quarter the extent of the current downturn since last year was also apparent, with television (free-to-air and subscription TV) down 10 per cent from the corresponding quarter a year ago; magazines were down 25 per cent and newspapers down 12 per cent. The only media sector to grow quarter-on-quarter was digital (up 10 per cent).
The September quarterly figures showed:
| Media Type||Q3 08 v Q3 09 |
| Television|| -10 per cent|
| Radio|| -9 per cent|
| Out of Home|| -7 per cent|
| || |
| Newspapers|| -12 per cent|
| Magazines|| -25 per cent|
| Digital|| 10 per cent|
| Cinema|| -31 per cent|
| Totals|| -10 per cent|
The total amount booked by media buyers in the September quarter was $1.54 billion compared to $1.71 billion a year ago.
But while the market is down on last year's, the monthly increases are continuing as evidenced by the growth in September compared to August.
|Media Type || Sept 09 v Aug 09|
| Television|| 9 per cent|
| Radio|| -3 per cent|
| Out of Home|| 0 per cent|
| || |
| Newspapers|| 5 per cent|
| Magazines|| 8 per cent|
| Digital|| -5 per cent|
| Cinema|| 12 per cent|
| Totals|| 6 per cent|
In other key developments in the past month:
- Television's share of the media agencies' total bookings grew 1.78 percentage points aided by continued growth in digital multi-channel bookings
- But with 75 per cent of the year accounted for, the year-to-date booking data for television accounts for only 66.4 per cent of that achieved in all of 2008
- Pacific Magazines' new Prevention magazine had a strong debut in terms of agency bookings
- Booking data for mobile phone advertising continues to increase rapidly, growing 54 per cent since August
- The largest newspaper market - metropolitan - remained flat last month but there was strong growth in the national, suburban and regional markets
SMI Publisher Jane Schulze said that while the recovery was patchy across media sectors, there were signs of improvement.
"Television has recorded particularly strong gains in booking data in September, with some of the extra bookings attributable to the multi-channels. But even when they were excluded, total TV growth remained strong,'' she said.
"It also seems that innovation in the market is being rewarded, as newspaper and magazine revamps and launches have aided growth in booking data.''
SMI aggregates media agency booking data from Australia's 13 top media agencies and releases top-line figures every quarter.
Media agency data represents the vast bulk of television bookings including approximately 70 per cent of magazine bookings; 60 per cent of radio bookings and 35 per cent of newspaper and digital bookings.