Australian digital advertising hits bn for FY21

Records growth exceeding that experienced pre-pandemic

The Australian digital advertising market has shrugged off any pandemic advertising woes to record 24.2% growth, the strongest since 2016, reaching $11.4bn online advertising expenditure for the 2021 financial year.

According to a media statement by Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the data which is drawn from the IAB Australia Online Advertising Expenditure Report (OAER) prepared by PwC, confirms that while the overall advertising market has rebounded, digital advertising is leading the charge and now dominates expenditure. 

The following are the highlights of the report:

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

Video advertising jumped 38.8% year on year to reach $2.4bn, general display grew 29.7% to $4.4bn, search and directories grew 22.3% to $5.1bn and classifieds grew 17.4% to $1.9bn.

The Report found that for FY21, retail was the top advertising category with 16% of all display advertising, up from 11.4% 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% and 6.4% 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 year on year.

 “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,” said Gai Le Roy, CEO of IAB Australia.

“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,” said Le Roy.

June Quarter Data

For the June 2021 quarter, the online advertising market reached $3.271bn, an extraordinary 60.5% growth compared to the June 2020 quarter and 13.4% growth quarter on quarter.  While some of the growth can be attributed to a COVID 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.