Investment in Australian Digital Advertising Rebounds From Previous Quarter

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The Australian digital advertising market enjoyed a strong comeback in Q4 2020, recording a 29.7 per cent growth from Q3 to reach nearly $2.94 billion, representing a 20.3 per cent year on year increase from the same quarter in 2019.

The data, which is drawn from the IAB Australia Online Advertising Expenditure Report (OAER), shows that all advertising categories have achieved growth for the second consecutive quarter as the industry rebounds after the pandemic-induced declines of early 2020.

Gai Le Roy, CEO of IAB Australia, commented: “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.

“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.”

Highlights of the quarter included the news that general display and search showed strong year on year growth, up 26.8 per cent and 21.1 per cent respectively.

In addition, IAB Australia said a strong investment in display lifted its share of the digital ad spend to 41 per cent compared to 39 per cent in December. All display formats saw an increase compared to the prior year showing strong diversified investment for the quarter.

Video advertising investment led the way with a 41 per cent increase compared to the same quarter last year.

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

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

While as a whole, highlights for the calendar year included the news that total investment in digital advertising for CY 2020 reached $9.5 billion, up 2 per cent from CY 2019.

IAB Australia said growth was suppressed by the impact of the pandemic on classified listings revenue, which declined 7.3 per cent year-on-year.

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

Search advertising rose 2.8 per cent to reach $4.3 billion, which represents 45 per cent 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 per cent of display revenue generated in 2020, compared to 36 per cent in 2019.

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

In addition, IAB Australia noted that through 2020 retailers lifted their investment in digital advertising with this advertiser category now representing a 15 per cent share of display investment, up from 10 per cent 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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