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Digital increase as news media reports ad revenue of $2.1b

Australia’s news media sector has reported $2.1 billion in advertising revenue for the 12 months to June 30, 2017, according to the latest News Media Index (NMI) with data collated by Standard Media Index (SMI). It remains the third largest media sector based on advertising revenue.

Digital news media revenue has again posted strong growth, up 7.5 per cent while direct advertisers’ support of national titles grew 4.5 per cent in the financial year. Revenue from direct advertisers now accounts for 53.8 per cent (up from 51.1 per cent) while print represents 77 per cent of total sector revenue.

News Media Index by media type



% change YOY

Total Industry
















Unlike the monthly SMI data which reports agency only revenue, the quarterly News Media Index reports all print and digital ad revenue to Australia’s largest news media publishers from both agencies and direct advertisers and is independently verified by SMI.

The latest NMI data again shows that premium news media websites attracted less than 11 per cent of the total programmatic ad market’s revenue in the latest quarter despite reaching 70 per cent, or 13 million, Australians aged 14+ each month.

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NewsMediaWorks CEO Peter Miler

Newly appointed NewsMediaWorks CEO Peter Miller said the News Media Index shows a trend that premium websites are underrepresented in programmatic revenue as advertisers chase quantity over quality and safety of ad placement.

“Branding has never simply been a numbers game. Too often, the impression you buy via third party ad networks is not the impression you leave your customer. The reputational risk that automated placement of ads on third party networks and alongside user-generated content needs to be addressed. Unlike premium news brands, these sites offer little or no editorial standards or quality control,” said Miller.

“We need to push the reset button on perceptions of news media and ask advertisers and their advisors take a fresh and objective look at the sector. News media continues to deliver large, highly engaged audiences who trust their preferred news source. Digital readership continues to grow and in a number of cases print readership has also bucked the trend.”

SMI AU/NZ Managing Director, Jane Schulze, said: “Given the ongoing concerns around brand safety it was surprising to see no marked difference in the level of programmatic advertising being directed towards premium news media.”

For more news from NewsMediaWorks, click here.

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