New index shows news media ad revenues at $2.4b

Music: City Lights at Night (Revolution Void) / CC BY-NC 3.0

Australia’s newspaper publishers today announced a world-first partnership with Standard Media Index (SMI) to enhance commercial transparency for advertisers and investors.

NewsMediaWorks chairman Michael Miller said the partnership reasserted the leadership of the news media sector with its breadth of audience and unique, influential content.

The sector is the first in the world to partner with Stand Media Index (SMI) to deliver the most robust data to report industry advertising revenue. The new quarterly News Media Index (NMI) for advertising revenue – powered by SMI – reveals all print and digital revenue, as well as whole-of-industry revenue.

In its first release, the News Media Index states Australia’s news media sector accounted for $2.4 billion in advertising revenue in 2015.

The index also showed a drop in ad revenue year-on-year of 6.7 per cent, which represents a much slower rate of decline than commonly believed, reinforcing the resilience of news media in the transition to digital platforms.

SMI press conference

NewsMediaWorks announces the News Media Index at a press conference. Left to right: Neil Monaghan, NewsMediaWorks director; Greg Hywood, NewsMediaWorks director; Michael Miller, NewsMediaWorks chairman, Jane Schulz, Standard Media Index managing director, Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Miller said the News Media Index provided the most accurate reporting of the viability of the news media industry.  “It responds to requests of advertisers and investors to reveal that the Australian news media sector has been significantly undervalued by independent analysts” he said. It confirms the uniqueness and value of news media brands as successful business partners.”

The revenue data is taken from NewsMediaWorks’ foundation members, News Corp Australia, Fairfax Media, West Australian Newspapers and APN News & Media, which represent around 90 per cent of the news media sector. SMI extracts the information directly from publisher financial systems.

  CY2015 % change YOY
(vs. CY2014)
CY Q1, 2016 % change YOY
(vs. Q1, 2015)
Total Industry $2.412bn -6.7% $533,075,340 -5.2%
Print $1.922bn -10.7% $416,305,433 -9.0%
Digital $404,476,037 18.9% $100,151,772 18.0%
NIMs $85,492,483 -8.2% $16,618,135 -17.9%

SMI Australia and New Zealand managing director Jane Schulze said: “News media is a highly trusted source of information, so it makes sense for the industry to also publish robust, accurate data on the sector’s advertising revenue.

“NewsMediaWorks has set the standard for ad spend measurement. It is the first media industry organisation in the world to partner with SMI to deliver accurate reporting of revenue across print and digital media. This is highly valued by advertisers who want to invest with confidence in a media sector. Eventually, all traditional media will have to follow its lead and also report revenues obtained from commercialising their content online.”

Mr Miller said: “No other media sector globally has provided its whole-of-industry revenue through SMI. The results reinforce the health of the industry and reinforce our confidence in its future as we grow digital revenues and remain committed to newspapers and the quality community oriented journalism that underpins the value proposition for our large audiences.

“We are also committed to transparency for the benefit of advertisers and investors. We understand their desire to invest in trusted and confident media sectors. This is not self-claimed data but independently verified. All publishers have provided SMI with access to their financial accounting and booking systems.”

For more news from NewsMediaWorks, click here.

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