SMI October 2023: Outdoor sends a strong message as revenue passes pre-Covid levels


‘Chatter about decline in ad market this year is sadly misplaced,’ says SMI’s Jane Ractliffe

The October 2023 SMI data continues to track the recovery of the outdoor sector. The data shows outdoor at a record level, surpassing its pre-Covid numbers with October ad bookings up 19.3% YOY in an overall market that was back 3.2%.

SMI reports the lower October 23 figure is being compared to a record October 2022 where the total ad spend passed $800m for the first time since 2017.

Other sectors that performed well in October 2023 were cinema (+12.6% YOY), digital video (+15.5% YOY) and digital audio (+6.0%).

The hardest hit sectors were television (-11.5% YOY), news publishing (-16.4%) and magazines (-18.5% YOY).


Guideline SMI APAC managing director Jane Ractliffe explained the October result was the second-largest ever reported by GL SMI, and confirmed the strength of the overall ad market so far this year.

There’s a lot of market chatter about the decline in the ad market this year, but that pessimism is sadly misplaced as the SMI numbers confirm that ad spend over the January to October period is the second largest in SMI history,” she said.

“If you remove government and political party category ad spend to normalise for last year’s Federal election, then total ad spend in this calendar year-to-date period would be up as the government decline this year is more than $100 million and the decline in political party ad spend is $50 million.”

See also: Dentsu projects the Australian market will grow by 3.2% in its latest Global Ad Spend Forecasts report

Ractliffe added the numbers also confirmed outdoor media has finally overcome the full impact of Covid on the sector.

“The total value of outdoor ad spend this calendar year-to-date is now 10.4% above that for the same period in 2019 to also be at a record CYTD total of beyond $1 billion. Outdoor’s October result was outstanding and the media has strong momentum going into the end of the year.

SMI noted the data for the financial year-to-date show media agency ad spend is back just 0.7% on the same record period last while calendar year-to-date results show the market is back 2.1% from last year’s record total.

See also: SMI September 2023: Ad market says YES to referendum spend before Australia votes NO

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