Online advertising Q1 2019 sees seasonal drop while year-on-year growth continues apace

Posted by Christian Manie On May 26, 2019 Media Releases

Monday 27th May 2019: Online advertising has continued to climb in Australia with revenues increasing 4.9% year on year to reach $2.2billion for the first quarter of 2019. The data which was drawn from the IAB Australia Online Advertising Expenditure Report (OAER) published today by PwC, also showed that video, mobile and classified advertising were the stand out performers, increasing year on year by 15%, 26% and 7% respectively.

View and download the full report and infographic here.

Consistent with previous years, online advertising expenditure in the first quarter of 2019 softened slightly compared to the seasonally more active December 2018 quarter, decreasing by 4.3% overall. Within this, whilst the general display and search and directories segments contracted, classifieds grew 6% in the March quarter 2019 compared to the December 2018. This classifieds growth was experienced across all three reported sectors – recruitment, real estate and automotive.

Gai Le Roy, CEO of IAB Australia commented: “There is little doubt that the advertising market is tough across all platforms, but within the breadth of digital advertising there were still bright spots. The classifieds sector again had a strong March quarter and the display market saw an increased share for government/political spend which will continue into the June quarter numbers. Yet again video continues to gain share in the display sector.”

Search and directories maintained its overall share of online advertising expenditure at 44% to reach $977.6m for the quarter, while classifieds reached $426.2m, a 20% share of spend and general display advertising is now 36% of spend at $799m.


Video represented the largest share of general display expenditure in March 2019 quarter at 46%, followed by content, native and infeed at 35% and standard display formats at 18%. Each of these segments has a component of mobile advertising expenditure with mobile advertising making up 66% of total general display expenditure, an increase from the December 2018 quarter.

Media agencies were the preferred buying method for display advertising viewed on content publishers’ inventory with some 58% bought via media agencies via an IO / non-programmatic method. 29% of general display advertising was bought programmatically with either fixed CPM and guaranteed inventory (6%) or with a variable CPM based on real time bidding via an exchange or private market place (23%). The share of general display advertising bought programmatically decrease 5% compared to the prior quarter.

The Report also found that 32% of video advertising expenditure for content publishers was driven by viewing via a connected TV in the March quarter, with 39% viewed on a desktop and 29% via mobile.

Automotive, Real Estate and Finance lead the General Display advertising market revenue, representing 37.0% of the reported General Display advertising market for the March quarter. The same three industry categories made up 33.4% of General Display in December 2018 quarter. Government’s share of general display increased to 5.0% from 3.1% in the lead up to the May 2019 federal election.


The full report is be available for IAB members.
About the Interactive Advertising Bureau
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Limited is the peak trade association for online advertising in Australia. As one of over 43 IAB offices globally and with a rapidly growing membership, the role of the IAB is to support sustainable and diverse investment in digital advertising across all platforms in Australia.
The IAB Industry Charter, which was announced in October 2018, details the organisation’s focus on helping marketers and agencies understand how digital advertising can deliver on their business objectives.   Foundation elements of the IAB Industry Charter include a renewed focus on standards that promote trust, steps to reduce friction in the ad supply chain; and ultimately improve ad experiences for consumers, advertisers and publishers.  
Beyond the IAB’s continued focus on content and ad measurement, the Charter outlines four additional areas of activity: digital ad effectiveness, data and data privacy; standards and guidelines; and improving the digital value chain.
For further information about IAB Australia please contact:
Gai Le Roy
CEO – IAB Australia
T: 0408 431 455
Pru Quinlan
Einsteinz Communications
T: (02) 8905 0995


Christian Manie