SYDNEY: Consumer electronics brands in Australia appear to be reverting to a selection of traditional media channels after cutting their digital adspend in the first quarter of the year.

According to the latest figures from Standard Media Index (SMI), advertising expenditure in the consumer electronics (CE) category fell by 7.7% year-on-year to $20.1m in the first quarter of 2017. The sector was also down 0.2% to $123.79m for the calendar year 2016.

The media sectors to benefit from additional CE adspend during Q1 2017 were newspapers, which jumped 105% – although from a low base – cinema (+39%) and radio, which saw a huge increase of more than 10,600% from virtually no spend in Q1 2016.

Meanwhile, digital adspend declined by 11% over the same period, while magazine adspend dropped by 74.7% and outdoor advertising was down by 17.2%.

Jane Schulze, SMI's Australia/New Zealand Managing Director, said the findings suggest that media buyers are experimenting with different channels and that established players in the consumer electronics sector are turning away from digital.

"The consumer electronics market is obviously testing different media options, for example, they're using radio for the first time in a long time, have dramatically reduced their outdoor spend and even reduced digital spending," said Schulze.

"It is a matter of testing different media channels to find the most effective return on their advertising investment in what is an intensely competitive sector," she added.

"However our data shows that it's not the gadgets, such as personal electronics devices, reducing digital spending, but the more established CE market such as TV manufacturers."

Looking at the consumer electronics categories in more detail, Standard Media Index reported that personal electronic device brands increased their digital adspend by 16% last year.

At the same time, TV products, such as televisions, DVD, personal video recorders, gaming consoles and streaming services reduced their digital adspend by 10.2%.

And sound entertainment, such as radio and DAB, contracted their digital adspend by more than 79% last year, while cameras and video recorders increased their digital spend by 189%.

Data sourced from Standard Media Index; additional content by WARC staff