Australian online advertising

COVID-19 sees Australian online advertising decline, video now over half of online ad spend: IAB

Total online advertising declined by 12 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2020, according to the latest IAB Australia Online Advertising Expenditure Report. 

The report, compiled by PwC, reflects the impact of the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown on the total online advertising market for the April to June 2020 quarter.

IAB Australia CEO Gai Le Roy said “The headline number is not a surprise as we anticipated a tough quarter for the industry. Within this, however, video is proving to be extremely resilient and holding steady year-on-year.

“We are also seeing retail, government and technology experience the largest increase in share compared to the previous quarter.”

The report found that in the June 2020 quarter, all online advertising categories showed declines compared to the quarter ending June 2019, with search and directories down 9 per cent, general display down 11 per cent, and classifieds recording the steepest decline at 22.7 per cent.

Video outperformed the overall general display market, with no change in expenditure year-on-year, increasing its share of the general display market by five percentage points to 53 per cent.

The shift to programmatic advertising reached a new peak in the latest June quarter, with 44 per cent of all advertising on content sites bought programmatically versus 41 per cent being bought from agencies using insertion orders. The percentage of inventory bought directly from advertisers decreased to 15 per cent.

The bulk of content publisher’s video inventory (65 per cent) was bought programmatically in the June quarter, up nine percentage points from the previous quarter.

A notable shift amongst the top five industry categories occurred during Q2 due to the impact of COVID-19.

Real estate and entertainment dropped out of the top five, with media and technology joining retail, automotive and finance to form the new top five.

The retail sector experienced the largest increase in share quarter-on-quarter, while the travel sector experienced the largest decline.

IAB Australia is the peak trade association for online advertising in Australia.


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