Online ads growth flattens year on year amid economic seasonal factors

Online advertising growth remained flat year over year in 2023 due to economic seasonal factors and an unusually high rate of expenditure in 2022, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Australia.

In its IAB Australia Online Advertising Expenditure Report (OAER), the organisation found that total advertising expenditure for the quarter ended 31 March 2023 reached $3.42 billion, a 0.8% decrease on the same quarter last year. In contrast, the quarter ending 31st March 2022 recorded an 18.5% increase.

“It is no surprise that ad spend is back slightly on bumper levels in early 2022 with marketers taking a cautious approach, however digital investment and digital media consumption continues to outperform the rest of the media market,” IAB Australia chief executive Gai Le Roy said.

“It is a delight to see the travel category share of the general display market the highest since prior to COVID, with marketing for domestic and international flights and destinations targeting Australians who are excited to hit the road again.”

Among the categories, search and directories posted 1.9% year on year growth at $1.576 billion, while general display declined 2.7% to $1.227 billion, and classifieds expenditure dropped 3.9% year on year to $623 million. Video advertising meanwhile outperformed general display with 8% growth from 2022.

Within general display, audio was the fastest growing category with a 13% increase from the same period last year to $51.9 million. Within audio, podcasts saw its share increase by 2% to $19.8 million, or 20.7% year on year growth. Streaming audio spend grew 8.8% to $32.1 million.

Travel also saw growth, re-entering the top five general display industry categories for the first time since December 2019. The four others are retail, automotive, finance and entertainment.

Also measured was the share of content publishers inventory bought via an agency insertion order, which increased to 48% for the quarter, while inventory purchased direct dropped to 14% and the balance of inventory was bought programmatically.


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