Digital advertising revenue reached $2.1 billion for the first quarter of 2018, driven by significant growth in both video and mobile advertising, according to the IAB and PwC’s Online Advertising Expenditure Report.
The report also highlights a shift in advertising spend with marketers favouring general display advertising over both classifieds and search and directories.
While the overall digital advertising revenue increased 13 per cent year on year, general display advertising recorded 20.3 per cent growth in the same period.
Classifieds increased 11.2 per cent year and search recorded 8.8 per cent year-on-year growth.
Both video and mobile advertising were up 38 per cent and 39 per cent respectively in Q1 of 2018 versus the prior corresponding period in 2017, with video reaching $320 million for the quarter, representing 42 per cent of the total general display advertising category.
Total revenues for Q1 were down 3.5 per cent versus the December 2017 quarter, reflecting a standard seasonal trend where the March quarter tends to be softer following the Christmas period.
Gai Le Roy, director of research at the IAB, said: “Our market is chameleon-like, mirroring the significant shifts in consumer behaviour towards mobile and video, so it’s little surprise to see an increased investment in these formats.
“While it’s likely we will see a continued softening in some of the more established digital ad revenue streams, we fully expect mobile and video advertising continue to surge as marketers explore and challenge the possibilities of digital to build trust and reputation for their brands.”
The data shows that the Australian market more closely resembles the UK than either the US or New Zealand markets, with display advertising representing 36 per cent and 35 per cent of ad expenditure in Australia and the UK respectively, compared to 50 per cent of ad spend in the US.
Similarly, Australia’s share of video advertising as a proportion of total online advertising is 38 per cent, in line with the UK’s 39 per cent and significantly higher than both the US (29 per cent) and NZ (23 per cent).
According to the Q1 report, auto advertisers continue to be the largest investors in digital display advertising at 18.3 per cent share of spend.
However, the FMCG industry is increasing its spend and is now the largest advertiser category for video advertising at 12.2 per cent.
Overall, the range of industries investing in video has diversified over the last 12 months, with industries including finance (10.8 per cent) and telecommunications (8.7 per cent) increasing their video spends.
The top five spenders in video who make up a combined 47.4 per cent of the total market include FMCG, finance, telecommunications, retail, and automotive.
The latest report shows search and directories continues to represent the largest proportion of the online advertising market in Australia at 45 per cent ($937 million) for the March quarter, with general display at 36 per cent ($767 million) and classifieds at 19 per cent ($397 million).
Mobile advertising expenditure decreased in the March quarter to $909.1 million after record growth in the December 2017 quarter during the Christmas retail period.
Fifty-six per cent of mobile advertising expenditure is attributed to mobile search and 44 percent to mobile display.
Smartphones continue to attract a greater share of advertising expenditure at 90 per cent, compared to tablets’ 10 per cent share, increasing its share from the prior December quarter (80 per cent and 20 per cent respectively).
Independent research company CEASA confirmed in March 2018 that digital represented 50.7 per cent share of the total advertising market expenditure of $15.6 billion for the 2017 calendar year.