Independent media agencies forecast a strong recovery and revenue boost according to Pulse Survey

Data from the Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA) has found that independent media agencies are predicting a strong recovery from the effects of COVID-19, forecasting an increase in staff and revenue in 2021.

The Pulse Survey, conducted in November 2020, revealed a positive overall sentiment among respondents. The results revealed that almost 90 percent of agencies expected to boost their workforce numbers this year, while 31 percent said they had already financially recovered from the impact of the pandemic. 

There was a significant decline in client spend for many agencies due to COVID-19. Almost two-thirds of media agencies said that their revenue had been impacted by up to 50 percent. Despite these numbers, almost half of respondents said they expected to financially recover by the second quarter of 2021. Another 11 percent seemed optimistic and predicted a return to profitability by the third quarter.

“The Pulse Survey shows the resilience of the independent media agency sector. Although many of our members were, like the rest of the industry, hit hard by the pandemic and reduced client spend, we have found they are bouncing back quickly and looking ahead to a more successful 2021,” said IMAA general manager, Sam Buchanan.

The survey also showed that working remotely is set to continue moving forward. 32 percent say working from home was now part of their work arrangements. However, nearly half the agencies surveyed (46 percent) had returned to working from their offices, with a further 7 percent expected to go back early this year.

The latest survey data also showed 2021 is set to be a big year for CTV, BVOD and digital, with respondents nominating these media channels as their top three predictions for advertising growth year-on-year.