The Big Publisher Survey of 2020

IAB records $11.4 billion FY21 online advertising spend

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The Australian digital advertising market has shrugged off any pandemic advertising woes to record 24.2 per cent growth, the strongest since 2016, according to the IAB Australia Online Advertising Expenditure Report.

IAB’s Online Advertising Expenditure Report (OAER) found that online advertising expenditure for the 2021 financial year reached $11.4 billion.

IAB said that the data confirms that while the overall advertising market has rebounded, digital advertising is leading the charge and now dominates expenditure.  

In the 12 months ending 30 June 2021, all sectors of online advertising experienced double-digit growth:  

  • Video advertising jumped 38.8 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to reach $2.4 billion 
  • General display grew 29.7 per cent to $4.4 billion 
  • Search and directories grew 22.3 per cent to $5.1 billion 
  • Classifieds grew 17.4 per cent to $1.9 billion. 

The report found that for FY21, retail was the top advertising category with 16 per cent of all display advertising, up from 11.4 per cent share in FY20 with expenditure coming from both traditional and ecommerce retailers.  

Across other categories, FMCG and technology expenditure increased their share for the period to 7.2 per cent and 6.4 per cent respectively for the period, while finance share remained flat.  

Perhaps not surprisingly given the impact of the pandemic, both automotive and travel advertising expenditure both decreased YoY.

IAB Australia CEO Gai Le Roy commented: “The growth in digital ad investment over the last year has been extraordinary and it’s clear that marketers are confident using it as a key growth engine for their businesses across the broad range of available formats and environments. 

“While the evolution of retailing has become a major driver of investment in digital advertising and we expect some shopping will return to physical stores in the future, the broad reach, deep engagement and data rich offerings will ensure retailers continue to place digital at the heart of their advertising and marketing plans,”

Changing media consumption patterns, accelerated by COVID-19 lockdowns, resulted in strong growth for connected TV spend (increasing share of all video spend from 38 per cent to 47 per cent YoY), while desktop share decreased from 36 per cent to 32 per cent and mobile from 26 per cent to 21 per cent for FY21.

Programmatic trading continued to hold strong with slight growth from 41 per cent to 43 per cent share of expenditure for FY21, against 41 per cent of inventory purchased via agency and 16 per cent direct. 

June Quarter Data

For the June 2021 quarter, the online advertising market reached $3.271 billion, an extraordinary 60.5 per cent growth compared to the June 2020 quarter, and 13.4 per cent growth quarter-on-quarter.  

IAB said that while some of the growth can be attributed to a COVID-19 depressed base of advertising in the June 2020 quarter, much of it reflects a bullish level of advertising enjoyed in the June 2021 quarter when most of Australia was open for travel, hospitality, and retail spending.

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