Newspaper Nine Queensland
(Image: Unsplash/Bank Phrom)

The COVID-driven advertising collapse has telescoped expected five-year trends into just three months. The result? There are no longer enough dollars to support the traditional media Australia currently has, even after the mass closures of regional and community papers and magazines.

By accelerating the trend line, the COVID-19 shock has left the media with little time to adequately rethink or restructure.

Over the past week, the end-of-financial-year data flooded in: from News Corp, the Standard Media Index (which tracks advertising spend) and reports from commercial television and radio. All show the same picture: advertising is down by more than a third compared to the same period last year. Worse still: advertising spend was already down significantly in the eight or nine months before Australia started to shut down in March.