Overall bookings for print grew 2.7 per cent year-on-year which can be attributed to the 11.1 per cent increase in agency spending to metro titles. The SMI figures revealed that regional papers also experienced growth in the month of August.
NewsMediaWorks chief excutive Peter Miller welcomed the positive agency growth figures. “They describe in the best way possible, a pause in thinking, and a return to powerful, dynamic, trusted news brands,” he said “In a time of general mistrust of social media and other institutions, newspapers are journals of record.”
The positive result will flow through to the quarterly News Media Index, to be released later this month.
The News Media Index includes direct bookings to publishers, which represent around 56 per cent of total news media revenue, as well as agency bookings, lifting total revenue for the sector to $2.02 billion.
The positive SMI results extend to Australia’s overall media agency market which has recorded 12 consecutive months of growth, with spend up 1.8 per cent to $572.2 million for August.
While acknowledging the overall growth as an impressive achievement, Jane Ractliffe, SMI Australia and NZ managing director, notes the return to growth of newspaper media as the main highlight.
“The print editions of newspapers have clearly been most affected by digital disruption, but to the industry’s credit it has continued to invest in its businesses in difficult times and now it’s paying off,” she said.
Bookings for outdoor media saw the largest growth at 22 per cent, followed by radio at 9.4 per cent.