The Standard Media Index (SMI) report, a measurement of media agency bookings, has revealed the rate of growth was slower than the 11% increase achieved in August 2009 over July.

However, advertising recovery is continuing with total bookings lifting 6% in September over August to $552.4 million.

Leading the market growth in September was the television sector (up 9%), followed by magazines (8%) and the newspaper sector (up 5%). Cinema grew by 12%.

The extent of the current downturn since last year is apparent though, with television (free-to-air and subscription TV) down 10% from the corresponding quarter a year ago, magazines down 25% and newspapers down 12%. The only media sector to grow quarter-on-quarter was digital (up 10%).

SMI report publisher Jane Schulze said that while the recovery was patchy across media sectors, there were signs of improvement.

“Television has recorded particularly strong gains in booking data in September, with some of the extra bookings attributable to the multi-channels. But even when they were excluded, total TV growth remained strong. It also seems that innovation in the market is being rewarded, as newspaper and magazine revamps and launches have aided growth in booking data,” explained Schulze.

The SMI aggregates media agency booking data from Australia’s 13 top media agencies.

Other key developments included:

  • Television’s share of the media agencies’ total bookings grew 1.78 percentage points aided by continued growth in digital multi-channel bookings
  • But with 75% of the year accounted for, the year-to-date booking data for television accounts for only 66.4% of that achieved in all of 2008
  • Booking data for mobile phone advertising continues to increase rapidly, growing 54% since August, and
  • The largest newspaper market – metropolitan – remained flat last month but there was strong growth in the national, suburban and regional markets.