Australia's digital advertising market jumps 24.2%

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 23 August 2021

Digital advertising in Australia jumped 24.2% to $11 billion in the year to June, the strongest growth seen since 2016, according to IAB data.

The IAB Australia Online Advertising Expenditure Report (AOER), prepared by PwC, found all sectors of online advertising experienced double-digit growth in the financial year.

Video advertising was up 38.8% year-on-year to reach $2.4 billion, general display grew 29.7% to $4.4 billion, search and directories grew 22.3% to $5.1 billion and classifieds grew 17.4% to $1.9 billion.

Retail was the top advertising category with 16% of all display advertising, up from 11.4% share the year prior, with expenditure coming from both traditional and ecommerce retailers.

Across other categories, FMCG and technology expenditure increased their share for the period to 7.2% and 6.4% respectively, while finance share remained flat. Automotive and travel advertising expenditure both decreased year-on-year.

“The growth in digital ad investment over the last year has been extraordinary and it’s clear that marketers are confident using it as a key growth engine for their businesses across the broad range of available formats and environments,” says IAB Australia CEO Gai Le Roy.

“While the evolution of retailing has become a major driver of investment in digital advertising and we expect some shopping will return to physical stores in the future, the broad reach, deep engagement and data rich offerings will ensure retailers continue to place digital at the heart of their advertising and marketing plans.

Connected TV also saw strong growth, increasing share of all video spend from 38% to 47% year-on-year, while desktop share decreased from 36% to 32% and mobile from 26% to 21% for the 2021 financial year.

Programmatic trading continued to hold strong with slight growth from 41% to 43% share of expenditure for the period, against 41% of inventory purchased via agency and 16% direct.

For the June 2021 quarter, the online advertising market reached $3.271 billion, up 60.5% compared to the June 2020 quarter and up 13.4% quarter-on-quarter.

IAB says while some of the growth can be attributed to a COVID depressed base of advertising in the June 2020 quarter, much of it reflects a “bullish level of advertising” in the June 2021 quarter when most of Australia was open for travel, hospitality, and retail spending.

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