Digital continues to take over Australia’s ad spend, reports IAB

Digital advertising represented 53.2% of Australia’s $16.6bn ad spend in 2018, up from 50.7% the year before, the IAB Australia reports.

For the year, digital ad spend totalled $8.8bn, up from 12% the previous year with mobile advertising now making up 25% of the entire market and video being the fastest growing segment.

In 2017, digital’s 50.7% share included mobile taking 18% and video 7%.

Digital growth for the year was well ahead of total industry growth which was 2.1%  for the year according to SMI figures, making it the sixth consecutive year of gains. However the year’s gains were held back by a soft market later in the year which has continued into this year.

According to the SMI figures, which report bookings made through four of the five major media groups, digital grew 5.8% which implies the balance of growth was through non-agency channels such as direct placements by businesses onto Google and Facebook.

Of the other mediums, television was the second biggest spend, but its share fell from 33.8% in 2017 to 21.8% in 2018, while print declined 0.5 percentage points to 11.4%, and radio eased 0.2 points to 7.2% of total ad spend. Out of home was a bright spot for traditional media, having picked up 0.2 points to 5.6% of the market.

Looking forward, the Australian ad market appears to be stagnant with the much-hoped-for political advertising boom failing to materialise.

In January, the Dentsu Aegis Network forecast the local ad industry would see a first-half jump in spending due to the federal and NSW state elections, however this week’s SMI figures appear to have dispelled that hope.

Dentsu did however forecast digital would continue to grow by 5.7% in 2019 with online video expected to reach the A$2bn market value by 2019, while mobile is expected to increase by 28% to a total advertising market value of A$5.3bn in 2019, representing 62% of the total digital spend.


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