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Bushfires and Covid-19 slows digital ad growth in Australia in first half of 2020

43% of all advertising was bought programmatically, compared with 38% being bought from agencies using insertion orders.

Online advertising growth in Australia slowed in the first quarter of 2020, delivering overall year-on-year growth of 3.8%, due to the impact of the post-holiday season, bushfires and Covid-19.

General display and search and directories declined from the preceding December quarter by 12% and 4% respectively, while classifieds grew 2%.

Video advertising continued to grow, increasing to a 53% share of display advertising, an 18% growth in the same quarter last year.

Some 43% of all advertising was bought programmatically, compared with 38% being bought from agencies using insertion orders. The percentage of inventory bought directly from advertisers increased to 19%, while 56% of content publisher’s video inventory was bought programmatically.

Entertainment entered the top five industry categories for the first time, joining retail, finance, real estate and automotive, despite all recording declines against the previous quarter.

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

As more people started working from home because of Covid-19, content publisher’s desktop video inventory revenue share increased slightly to 36%, up from 34% the preceding quarter, while viewing through connected TVs was 38%, and 26% viewed through mobile video advertising.

These were the results from IAB Australia Online Advertising Expenditure Report, compiled by PwC.

“While this report captures the zeitgeist of the tough start to the year we experienced Australia wide, it precedes the real impact of Covid-19,” said Gai Le Roy, the chief executive of IAB Australia.

“There is no doubt that the current quarter will be tougher for all in the industry but we are seeing shoots of hope in some sectors.”

Read the full report here.

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