Digital advertising surges with 42% year-on-year growth as video advertising continues to shine

The Australian digital advertising market has continued its growth at pace, reaching $3.232bn for the September quarter 2021, up 42.1% year on year. The data which is drawn from the IAB Australia Online Advertising Expenditure Report (OAER) prepared by PwC, shows that retail remains the leading advertiser category and that video is continuing to be the overall star.

Gai Le Roy, CEO of IAB Australia commented: “The September quarter had a mix of highs and lows with Olympics activity encouraging investment but the travel market pulling back again with local lockdowns. Overall though investment in digital advertising market continued to impress, with the September quarter increasing 42% on the COVID impacted September 2020, but also increasing 36% compared to the 2019 September quarter.”

All categories experience double digital growth on the September quarter 2020, with search and directories increasing 41%, general display increasing by 45.6% and classifieds up 37.3%. Following a strong second quarter this year and in the wake of the return of COVID lockdowns, the total market declined by 1.3% on the prior quarter.

Retail advertising again held the number one advertiser category share of display advertising investment, now representing 14.4% of display investment and leading video advertising investment. Technology sector advertising experienced the largest increase in share to reach 7.8%, while automotive advertising’s share of total spend continued to retract, reflecting the supply challenges; and the travel sector saw the largest decrease in share thanks to lockdowns reversing the increases experience by travel in the June quarter.

Video advertising’s share of general display advertising peaked this quarter at 62%, an increase of 72% year-on-year to reach $784.1m. Infeed / native advertising grew 30% year on year, while standard display advertising fell 21% year on year.

Meanwhile programmatic trading of content publishers inventory again increased in the September quarter, delivering 45% of the total expenditure, versus 40% bought through agency insertion orders. Programmatic continues to dominate as the preferred buying method for content publishers’ video inventory.


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