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News 23 Feb 2021 - 1 min read

IAB: digital ad market tops $9.5bn after year end surge

By Brendan Coyne - Editor

IAB CEO Gai Le Roy hails extraordinarily strong” December quarter for pushing digital ad spend in Covid year higher than 2019.

What you need to know:

  • Retail rebound helps drive 30% quarterly growth.
  • Technology and FMCG also increased spend.
  • Automotive has halved share of spend in two years.
  • Programmatic deals and CTV continue to increase share of publisher revenues.
  • Search now $4.3bn market.

A resurgent final quarter took the Australian digital ad market to $9.5bn in 2020, per IAB data, with retailers driving growth.

Advertisers spent 29.7% more in Q4 than the three months prior, some $2.94bn, up 20.3% year-on-year.

Retailers piled into display advertising, making up 15% of total display spend in 2020 versus 10% in 2019.

For the quarter, retailers took a record share of 18.5% versus 11.7% the prior year.

Technology and FMCG advertisers also “significantly” lifted digital ad investments in an “extraordinarily strong” December quarter, said IAB CEO Gai Le Roy.

“The combination of delayed marketing spend, traditional seasonal uplift, news of a Covid vaccine and increased consumer online media and commerce behaviour all contributed to the stellar quarter,” she added.

Travel and automotive were the biggest fallers over the year. The latter’s share of display spend in 2020 was less than half that in 2018.

YoY growth by channel Dec quarter:

  • video +41%
  • display +27%
  • search +21%

YoY growth by channel full year:

  • video +17.2%
  • display +5.4%
  • search +2.8%
  • classifieds -7.3%

Search advertising revenues stood at $4.3 billion for the year, representing 45% of the total digital ad market, per IAB figures.

Inventory sold via programmatic real time bidding, private marketplaces and guaranteed programmatic deals made up 44% of publisher display revenue in 2020, up from 36% in 2019.

Connected TV share of video continues to increase, making up 45% of publisher video revenues in 2020 compared to 35% 2019.

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