Rahul Sachitanand
Feb 24, 2021

Australian digital advertising market grows by 20.3% YoY: IAB

This improvement was spread across all sectors, as the industry reported its second consecutive quarter of growth.

Australian digital advertising market grows by 20.3% YoY: IAB

The Australian digital advertising market rebounded strongly in Q4 of 2020 to grow by 20.3% year-on-year and 29.7% quarter-on-quarter, according to data from the IAB Australia Online Advertising Expenditure Report (OAER). According to this report, this improvement was spread across all sectors, as the industry reported its second consecutive quarter of growth, with the marketing almost hitting $3 billion, after being hobbled by pandemic-induced declines earlier in 2020.


Both general display and search showed strong year-on-year growth, up 26.8% and 21.1%, respectively. 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 with a 41% increase compared to the same quarter last year.

In terms of industries, advertising by retailers grew sharply in this quarter, representing 18.5% of the market compared to 11.7% for the prior year. Investment by auto advertisers, however, 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. Total investment in digital advertising for calendar year 2020 reached $9.5 billion, up 2% from CY 2019.


Gai Le Roy, CEO of IAB Australia stated: “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.”

Despite this change, COVID-19 continued to have an impact on some segments of the market, for example in classified listings revenue, which declined 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. 

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