Radio ad spend recovers 40% in April as medium becomes ‘more aggressive’

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The year-on-year comparisons for radio ad spend are looking more positive, as April figures show an improvement of 40.6% from media agency bookings.

The latest Standard Media Index (SMI) figures show traditional radio’s spend improved 37.6% year-on-year, while digital audio bookings were up 97.1%. Given the smaller scale of digital audio, the total audio category improved by 40.6% for the month.

Other mediums also clocked up an aggressive improvement, including television (44.2%), outdoor (48.7%) and digital video (34.6%).

Print newspapers and magazines, however, were still on the decline.

SMI’s managing director, Jane Ractliffe, said radio had become more aggressive in seeking the returning ad dollars.

“Given the Australian media market has suffered through the toughest financial year in its history, the fact we will report higher ad demand for the financial year is simply incredible,” she added.

“It’s a huge testament to the resilience of our industry that we have been able to manage through such a monumental decline in the ad revenues that supports us and to come out the other end in reasonable shape. It suggests a great future is ahead for Australian media as we continue to evolve to meet our changing audiences.”

Across all mediums, ad spend improved 39.7% to $584.4 million.

“Australia’s advertising market is in unchartered territory as we’ve never before seen such levels of meteoric growth,” Ractliffe said.

“We all know these huge gains are coming from a very low base, but even so it’s hugely encouraging to see advertising revenues flow strongly across our major media after such a prolonged period of reduced advertiser demand.”

For January, radio’s total ad spend, including digital, was down 1.8% year-on-year. In February, the total category was down 8.9%, and in March it was up 1.2%.

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