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EXCLUSIVE – May TV ad spend approaches pre pandemic levels

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Metropolitan television media agency bookings are surging to pre pandemic levels.

Early SMI (Standard Media Index) data for May, distributed to subscribers but not yet released publicly, shows metro TV ad spend more than 60% higher than the same month in 2020.

A large jump was expected this May because last year was dragged down into the depths of the economic fallout from COVID-19.

However, interim TV booking (ex-digital) are approaching pre COVID levels of May 2019 and could surpass this when numbers are finalised.

Regional television was tracking more than 50% higher for May.

Analysts expect television to continue its strong run into the later part of calendar 2021.

Television broadcaster Seven West Media, in a trading update, reported a strong rebound in advertising revenue in the three months to June.

Advertising revenue (including BVOD) is estimated to grow more than 45% in the quarter compared to the same period in 2020, says Seven West.

Overall media agency bookings were up 40% in May, according to the interim SMI numbers.

The pandemic basket case of travel ad spend jumped more than 400% in May and automotive spend was up more than 70%.

Outdoor was up by more than 175% in May and metropolitan radio more than 80% higher.

Overall ad spend in April soared by 39.7% year-on-year to $584.4 million.

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