Australian digital ad trends: Mobile surge pushes spend past $3.3bn

13/03/2013

Online ad spend in Australia hit $3.3bn last year, up 18% on 2011 with mobile leading much of the growth, according to new data.

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The data, from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) found mobile ad spend grew a staggering 220% spike, which amounts to an expenditure of $86.2m.

Also worth noting is that 58% of mobile advertising for Q4 was allocated to smartphones and 42% to tablets, with 56% of this advertising being General Display and 44% being search.

Video ad spend also grew 30%, accounting for $90.3m in spend. However, growth for display and classifieds ads has slowed, falling to 10% and 9% respectively.

Search and directories, however, which grew 27% year on year, is still the largest contributor to ad spend (54%). General Display advertising (of which mobile is considered a subset) accounted for 26% and Classifieds advertising accounted for 20%.

Online advertising expenditure reported an 11% increase over Q3 2012 to reach $899m for Q4 2012.

In terms of sector, motor vehicles and finance dominated when it came to General Display advertising, accounting for 31.2% of total expenditure, but when it came to Classifieds, Real Estate was the leading category for advertising expenditure.

Gai Le Roy, director of research for IAB Australia, said that while this is a substantial growth, the numbers could be even higher than reported as the figures do not include ads that are seen in an internal browser on a mobile device.

Within the mobile category, email based advertising made up $26.1m of expenditure, which was a decrease of 30% on 2011, but video based advertising took $90.3m of expenditure, an increase of 30%.

Despite these impressive increases, Le Roy warns that mobile figures could plateau soon.
The inexorable rise of mobile, video and search is showing little sign of abating and we are delighted that the online industry is continuing to beat all reported market predictions about lower growth rates.

While mobile is currently experiencing a surge, we expect it will settle into strong and sustained growth rates, just as general online advertising expenditure did in 2000 after an extraordinary period of growth.

Read the IAB Australia ad spend report here

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