The fragmentation of consumers’ media consumption over the last 20 or so years has made it more difficult to reach the masses although has helped in terms of targeting specific audiences. Perhaps fragmentation has been a curse to mass market advertisers while possibly helping smaller niche targeting clients.
Stepping back into the mid-1990s Australians only had 5 TV stations (ABC, SBS, 7, 9 &10) to watch. No wonder the average audience of the top 10 programs across the 5 capital cities was over two million per show. Then along came PayTV (1995), the free to air digital stations, catch up TV, streaming, Netflix, Stan and suddenly consumers can watch what they want, when they want across a multitude of channels. Today’s highest rating TV show is lucky to get over one million viewers.
Magazine’s readership is now fragmented across their print, App and web editions. The mass women’s magazines printed versions have had a huge drop. From 1999 to now, Womens Weekly (AWW) print readers went from 2.9 million per issue down to 1.3 million per issue, Woman’s Day went from 2.6 million to 877,000 and New Idea went from 2.2 million to 785,000. Considering their total audience including digital readers, AWW’s total readers are down 13% compared to 1999, Woman’s Day total readers are 53% less than 20 years ago, and New Idea is 50% less. In addition to this, the advertising is sold separately i.e. print or digital. Again, massive fragmentation of the audience.
In the Newspaper glory days (circa 1997), they received over 50% of all advertising spend while today they get a little over 4% of all spend. The readership of the printed national papers (The Australian & the AFR) have declined by 30-40% while the metropolitan papers print readership has declined by over 60%. Naturally the papers do quite well with their digital copies however total combined (print & digital) daily readership is still down by around 25% compared to 20 years ago. Advertising is again sold separately as print or digital which again fragments the audience for advertisers.
Radio listening has fragmented with the introduction of the numerous Digital stations, Spotify and podcasts. Even Cinema have fragmented their audience as there were a little over 1,000 screens in 1997 whilst today there are over 2,300 screens. Nonetheless ticket sales have remained relatively constant over this time.
The one medium that has grown from zero consumption in 1995 to virtually everyone today is the internet. Although the internet itself is massively fragmented as it is all the traditional mediums plus over a billion websites plus all the social sites. Australians spend up to 14 hours a week on social media alone excluding time spent online with other media sites.
The combination of most of the media offering far more options and time now spent online has resulted in the enormous audience fragmentation. This audience fragmentation has also resulted in the ad dollars fragmenting causing a great deal of pain across traditional media as Digital now accounts for around 30% of ad revenue. In years gone by Saturday’s SMH attracted people interested in News, Real Estate, cars and the “rivers of gold” classifieds. These days, carsales, eBay and Seek have taken much of that audience along with the ad dollars.
From an advertiser’s point of view, it is clearly harder to reach lots of people quickly making fragmentation a bit of a curse for mass market products. On the positive side, data is today’s new currency used to spend clients’ money more wisely and enables more micro targeting of audiences


Last Saturday, the Treasurer’s Office announced the ACCC will publish an Ad-Tech Inquiry Issues paper in March 2020 – interesting times ahead!
Back in December 2017 the federal government directed the ACCC to analyse the Digital Platforms in relation to consumers, journalism and advertising on those platforms. By ‘platforms’ they basically meant Google and Facebook. The report came out in June 2019 and we are now getting to the interesting phase of seeing what can be done.
In June 2019 the ACCC said they had serious issues relating to market power of Google & Facebook affecting the media, advertisers, businesses and particularly consumers. They were scathing of Facebook & Google as well as the Digital advertising market. The ACCC had particular concerns that consumers do not realise how much of their data is collected and what is done with it. They also said the rise of Facebook & Google had caused significant harm to the news and to journalism. They said “the use of data can exploit behavioural biases and consumer vulnerabilities on a scale we’ve never seen before”
The ACCC recommended a branch to be set up within the ACCC to ensure a great deal more transparency and oversight of Google and Facebook. This branch will investigate the serious scrutiny of the algorithms of Facebook & Google which they believe is anti competitive or misleading behaviour. The ACCC also made a point about the very opaque and unclear Digital advertising market. They also want an inquiry into the AdTech systems so they can see who is making money and at what level. The Government has set up new fines and the ACCC literally said “they were anxious to use new fines in Australia that will amount to many hundreds of millions of dollars”.


Social media is the way for people, brands and groups to communicate and interact online. It has been around for more than 15 years, but lately we have a seen a surge in both the number and popularity of social media platforms such as TikTok, Lasso & Vero.
Social media got its name because users are able to engage with each other in the form of user generated content, commentaries and many more functionalities that platforms offer nowadays.
For businesses, a rise in social media brings both opportunity and responsibility with the amount of data & accessibility that marketers have. Social Media is an important pillar of Digital marketing and it helps brands accomplish the following goals;
• Community building & brand engagement :
o Making it easier for brands to talk and address their audiences
o Brands can now more easily announce new products and business developments to their audience
o Promote events and increase both registrations and attendance

Brand awareness & discovery
o Brands can now build awareness through social media with organic social and paid ads
o With social media it has become easier to discover a brand – through friends recommendations, influencers and ads

• Websites traffic & sales
o Increasing site traffic, driving leads and sales as a result of organic social activity and ads.
Below are the top Social platforms in Australia by number of monthly Unique Users (source Nielsen Dec 2019):
Facebook: 17,834,000
Instagram: 12,484,000
LinkedIn: 9,679,000
Twitter: 8,365,000
Pinterest: 7,171,000
All the major social networks offer paid advertising options. Social media advertising allows brands to reach a wider audience than those who are following them. The advertising options are ever evolving on Social platforms and they include demographics and detailed targeting options with variety ad formats to reach your desired audience and achieve your brand goals.


January is traditionally the smallest ad spending month in Australia so the figures never look that great. The interim January figures have just been released and it looks like we are kicking off 2020 the same way we ended 2019 – a negative year on year performance. The January figures are approximately 10% down compared to January 2019. This excludes the Digital bookings although once the Digital bookings are added we expect to still be in the negative.
The Automotive and Retail categories continue to be in the ‘Top Declines’ for the month. Perhaps not surprising given the bushfires, Travel spend was also down. All the media are down although the one spot of good news was Street Furniture had a substantial increase from January 2019

1. A 30 sec TV ad in the 2020 Super Bowl was around $5.6million USD
2. More than $500 billion a year is spent on advertising worldwide
3. 4 million Australians aged 14+ (19.1%) now use meal delivery services, up from 1.98 million (9.8%) Interestingly ‘Food Delivery Services’ advertising has grown 4 fold since 2016 to $42 mil in 2019
4. Only 12% of Australians expect 2020 to be better than 2019. This puts us 43rd of 47 countries … at least we’re more positive than Italy (11%), Jordan (7%) and Lebanon (5%) – Roy Morgan