Australian Digital Advertising Bounces Back 11.3% In Q3: IAB

Sport women celebrating with arms raised. She is exercising at sunset or sunrise and is back lit. City of Sydney in the background. She looks happy and has a sense of achievement.

The Australian digital advertising market is showing green shoots of growth, recording an 11.3 per cent growth from Q2 to reach $2,263m in Q3 ending 30th September 2020, according to the latest IAB Australia Online Advertising Expenditure Report.

Search and directories now represent 45 per cent of all expenditure and $1,006m in the quarter ending September 2020; general display 38 per cent and $871m; and classifieds 17 per cent and $386m.

The general display formats of video, standard display, and infeed/native advertising all experienced double-digit quarter on quarter recovery, growing at 11 per cent, 10 per cent and 19 per cent respectively.  Video advertising is shifting towards pre-pandemic results with CTV inventory experiencing the highest growth across digital screens.

IAB Australia CEO Gai Le Roy commented: “It’s been a challenging year but the growth this quarter in terms of digital formats signals the industry is bouncing back.  We are now entering what is traditionally considered the industry’s’ strongest quarter and we anticipate a continuation of the growth through to the end of the year.”

Although the Search and Directories and Classifieds sectors were still down on the previous year (-6.9 per cent and -11.5 per cent respectively), General Display revenue was marginally up with a 0.9 per cent increase assisted by the strong growth in video revenue.

Additional findings from the IAB OAER Report from PwC for the September quarter include:

  • Retailers remained the number one investment industry and FMCG advertising has broken into the top five industries for general display expenditure for the first time since June 2017
  • Advertisers’ buying preferences for content publishers’ inventory remained stable this quarter despite the uncertainty of the times, with 40 per cent opting to buy via an agency, 16 per cent direct, 11 per cent via programmatic guaranteed and 33 per cent via programmatic RTB/PMP. Investment continues to trend towards Connected TV, shifting share from both desktop and mobile devices.
  • Mobile now represents 67 per cent of general display advertising and 63 per cent of search and directories.


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