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Digital ad spend in Australia reached $3.3b last year, an 18% increase on 2011, according to a new Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) report.

Figures showed that not only did digital ad spend as a whole exceed market predictions last year but mobile advertising saw a growth of 220%, pulling in $86.2m. Year-on-year, video advertising also grew 30% to reach $90.3m. 

The significant rise in figures was due to growth across all categories, including a 27% increase in Search and Directories advertising, a 10% increase in General Display advertising and a 9% increase in Classifieds advertising.

Online advertising boost

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

Search & Directories advertising accounted for 54% of total expenditure, General Display advertising accounted for 26% and Classifieds advertising accounted for 20%. 

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. 

The rise of mobile

Mobile advertising, which is a subset of General Display, saw significant growth rates in Q4 last year, reaching $33.8m and representing a rise of 55% on the previous quarter. 

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.

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.

Claire Brinkley

Published 7 March, 2013 by Claire Brinkley

Claire Brinkley is Econsultancy Australia's news and insight reporter. Follow her on Twitter, Google+ or connect with her on LinkedIn

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