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New data shows ad market recovery continues

New Zealand’s advertising market has rebounded strongly from recent Covid-related declines, finishing the year on a high by reporting a 10.4 percent increase in December ad spend which in turn has led to a 4.9 percent increase in December quarter ad spend. 

Strong growth by each of the TV (+15.3 percent), Digital (+19.2 percent) and Radio media (+0.8 percent) spurred the stronger market, while Outdoor also continues on its recovery path with December bookings back just 3 percent. 

SMI AU/NZ Managing Director Jane Ractliffe says the result – which was the second consecutive month of growth in NZ ad spend – proved the New Zealand advertising market was now moving quickly out of the COVID slump. 

“The Covid pandemic triggered advertising recessions in each of the five markets where SMI reports ad spend and New Zealand was no exception and suffered seven straight months of declining ad spend,’’ she says. 

As with other markets, the CY2020 advertising year has been one of two halves in NZ, with the value of advertising bookings in the first half of the year falling 18.5 percent due to the huge Covid-19 year-on-year declines of 37 percent reported in April and May, while second half bookings fell a lesser 7.2 percent. 

“The trend has now definitely turned and the NZ advertising market is back on a strong growth trajectory. That’s also confirmed by SMI’s Forward Pacings data which shows that 86 percent of the value of the January 2019 ad market has already been confirmed,’’ Ractliffe adds.

The stronger December quarter which has proven the market is now in full recovery mode with the growth driven by a 52 percent increase in Government-related ad spend around the national election plus higher Food/Produce/Dairy (+29 percent) and Non-Alcoholic Beverage (+58 percent) category ad spend. 

“In the December quarter we’ve seen the Television and Radio media return to growth, the Digital media continued to increase its rate of growth (+15.4 percent for the quarter) while the decline in Outdoor ad spend continues to reduce,’’ Ractliffe says. 

The CY2020 ad spend data for NZ also shows total Agency spend down 12.3 percent – removing $129 million in ad spend from the market – prompting all major media to report significant declines in ad spend compared to the CY2019 period. 

“There’s no question the CY2020 year was the toughest in NZ’s media history as advertising demand was hit by the lower business confidence resulting from the COVID-related lockdowns. 

“But the good news is that the New Zealand ad market is recovering very quickly and all the signals in the SMI data suggest this new advertising year will be a far more positive one for the NZ media industry,’’ she concludes.

SMI NZ: December, CY2020 Ad Spend Trends 

Data Summary
Media Dec YOY Change CY2020 v CY2019 
Digital 19.2% -4.1% 
Television 15.3% -10.9% 
Outdoor -3.0% -25.8% 
Radio 0.8% -8.2% 
Newspapers -14.4% -21.3% 
Magazines -39.0% -49.2% 
Cinema -18.2% -23.8% 
Other 24.8% -59.6% 
Grand Total 10.4% -12.3% 

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