A strong comeback for the Australian digital advertising market

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 23 February 2021

Australian digital advertising jumped 29.7% to $2.935 billion in the December quarter compared to the three months to September, says IAB Australia. 

This was a 20.3% year on year rise from the same quarter in 2019.

Total investment in digital advertising for calendar year 2020 was $9.5 billion, up 2% from in 2019.

The data, from the IAB Australia Online Advertising Expenditure Report (OAER), shows that all advertising categories grew for the second consecutive quarter as the industry rebounds after the pandemic-induced falls earlier in 2020.

“Digital advertising saw a robust comeback in the second half of the year with an extraordinarily strong December quarter with marketer demand flowing across all inventory types," says Gai Le Roy, CEO of IAB Australia.

"The combination of delayed marketing spend, traditional seasonal uplift, news of a COVID vaccine and increased consumer online media & commerce behaviour all contributed to the stellar quarter.”

General display was up 26.8%  year on year and search 21.1%. 

The strong investment in display lifted its share of the digital ad spend to 41% compared to 39% in December. 

Video advertising investment led the way in display with a 41% increase compared to the same quarter last year. 

Advertising by retailers held a record share of display investment representing 18.5% of the market compared to 11.7% for the prior year. 

Investment by auto advertisers continued to lag the rest of the market with share from 23.7% in 2018, then 14.7% in 2019 to 10.8% in 2020. 

Across 2020, growth was suppressed by the impact of the pandemic on classified listings revenue, which fell 7.3% year on year.

However, the display market saw a 5.4% increase supported by another strong year for digital video investment, which was up 17.2%.

Search advertising rose 2.8% to reach $4.3 billion which represents 45% of the total digital ad market.

Content publishers saw more of the inventory purchased through programmatic methods with programmatic RTB, PMP and guaranteed representing 44% of display revenue generated in 2020 compared to 36% in 2019.

CTV share of video continues to increase, up from 35% to 45% of content publishers’ video investment in 2020 compared to 2019.

Throughout 2020 retailers lifted their investment in digital advertising with this advertiser category now representing a 15% share of display investment up from 10% in 2019.

Other categories to significantly increase share were Technology and FMCG. The two categories that had the largest decrease in share were travel and automotive.

IAB Australia 2020

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