SYDNEY: Australia's adspend growth is soaring as cinema, digital channels and outdoor drive hefty increases in expenditure.

The latest adspend report from Standard Media Index (SMI), reported in B&T Magazine, has revealed that Australia's advertising expenditure grew 4.5% in 2015 to reach A$7.9bn across all channels. In dollar terms, expenditure rose more than A$338m, with the increased monthly totals through the year indicating a strong foundation going into 2016.

Cinema had a record year with expenditure up 37.2% as advertisers battled over ad space in a number of long-awaited blockbuster releases.

Digital continued its astronomical rise with more than 20% growth in 2015, and now makes up almost a quarter of all adspend, second only to television.

Outdoor and radio both reached new spending records in 2015, with outdoor up 16% and radio up 7.8%. Outdoor is enjoying a renaissance in Australia, as the digitization of outdoor platforms such as interactive screens in shopping centres and digital billboards on motorways become more prevalent. Programmatic trade is also boosting sector growth.

Despite the arrival of Netflix in Australia and the popularity of video on demand, television adspend has yet to be impacted – though growth was relatively stagnant at just 0.2% in 2015. Television remains the dominant channel in Australia, accounting for 40% of total adspend.

Australia's highly competitive automotive industry recorded its best ever sales year in 2015, and its adspend reflected that with an extra A$60.6m spent, while the related auto dealers/parts/commercial category increased its adspend by A$29.7m. The gambling sector also increased ad expenditure by more than $65m as it promoted new products.

As 2016 kicks off, pundits are expecting growth to continue. An anticipated federal election is expected to spike spending by political parties and government departments, with campaigns around the Olympic Games and Australian Census also predicted to be cornerstones of media investment.

Warc's latest International Ad Forecast, which draws from data provided by the Commercial Economic Advisory Service of Australia (CEASA), estimates Australian adspend rose 3.6% in 2015 to top AU$14bn for the first time.

Data sourced from Standard Media Index, B&T; additional content by Warc staff