Australian digital advertising made a strong comeback in the December 2020 quarter, while the 2020 calendar year showed publishers are increasingly turning to programmatic advertising to fill their online inventory, according to IAB Australia’s latest report.
In the December 2020 quarter, the Australian digital advertising market recording a 29.7 per cent growth from the previous quarter to reach $2,935 million, and a 20.3 per cent year-on-year increase from the same quarter in 2019.
The data, drawn from the IAB Australia Online Advertising Expenditure Report (OAER), shows that all advertising categories achieved growth for the second consecutive quarter as the industry rebounds after the COVID-19 pandemic induced declines earlier in 2020.
IAB Australia CEO Gai Le Roy said: “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-19 vaccine, and increased consumer online media and commerce behaviour all contributed to the stellar quarter.”
Display advertising performs well in December 2020 quarter
IAB found that both general display and search showed strong year-on-year growth, up 26.8 per cent and 21.1 per cent respectively. The 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. Again, video advertising investment led the way with a 41 per cent increase compared to the same quarter last year.
The report states 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.
Publisher ad inventory purchased via programmatic increases in 2020
Total investment in digital advertising for the calendar year (CY) 2020 reached $9.5 billion, up 2 per cent from CY 2019.
IAB said that 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.
Content publishers saw more of the inventory purchased through programmatic methods with programmatic real-time bidding, private marketplace and guaranteed representing 44 per cent of display revenue generated in 2020 compared to 36 per cent in 2019.
IAB found that throughout 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.
IAB Australia is the peak trade association for online advertising in Australia.