Total spend on online advertising in Australia has continued to grow but is beginning to taper off, according to the latest data from ACMA, which also shows Australians are increasingly using digital technology to communicate.

Traditional media markets continue to suffer from the shift of advertising dollars to digital, according to ACMA’s latest Communications report, released this week, but there are signs that the rate of digital growth may be slowing significantly for the first time.

Data in the report provided by the Commercial Economic Advisory Service of Australia shows online advertising revenue grew strongly in 2015 and 2016, up 25 and 23 per cent respectively, but slowed in 2017 (the latest figure available), increasing only 7 per cent.

Source: ACMA Communications Report 2017/18

According to the report, much of the online advertising growth has been driven by strong increases in online video advertising, and advertising for mobile format.

Print media has continued to trend downward, now claiming about half of the advertising dollars it did in 2013. Over the last four years the amount of print media advertising spend halved from $3.72 billion to $1.87 billion. During the same period, the amount of advertising expenditure online doubled from $3.90 billion to $7.92 billion, according to the report.

Large format advertising including cinema and outdoor has grown steadily 2014 while television has decreased slightly.

Digital consumers

The same report also examines the changing communication environment, revealing Australian citizens are increasingly using digital technology to communicate.

The amount of Australians with internet access is 89 per cent, unchanged since 2014. Just 36 per cent of internet households are currently connected to services over the NBN, although most of the growth has occurred in the last year.

Three quarters of Australians have used apps to communicate. 40 per cent are now using five or more devices — nearly double the amount of a year ago.

82 per cent of Australians are accessing video online and 61 per cent are accessing audio content online.

The most popular device for getting online is a mobile phone (87 per cent) followed by laptops (72 per cent) and tablets (61 per cent).

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