MELBOURNE: Digital investment is continuing to soar in Australia, with online adspend now approaching half of total advertising expenditure in the country as FMCG brands invest heavily in digital video.

A recent Commercial Economic Advisory of Australia (CEASA) release indicated that investment in digital channels made up more than 48% of all Australian expenditure in the first half of 2016.

And an Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC report on Australian advertising expenditure put online advertising spend at more than A$1.88bn in Q3 2016, a 20.3% increase on the same quarter last year.

Investment in all digital advertising categories measured in the IAB/PwC report increased year-on-year, with Classifieds up 13.4%, Search and Directories jumping 22.8% and General Display increasing 21 per cent.

But for FMCG marketers in particular, digital video is leading the charge. FMCG advertisers are now spending roughly three times as much on video as they are on general display, which – while increasing – is capturing just 8.2% of spend. FMCG advertisers account for 23.5% of all video online expenditure, according to the IAB, with content portability across platforms including social media and digital outdoor making it attractive an attractive format.

"The dominance of FCMG in video shows marketers are warming to the longer term effects of cross-device, and even cross-media campaigns that are underpinned by digital video," said Vijay Solanki, IAB CEO, in B&T Magazine.

"Screens deliver video and personalised, optimised experiences. We've seen almost two-thirds of the market going to screens, with digital also strengthening the outdoor ad industry," he added.

"Digital video can drive brand uplift in a targeted, immersive and measurable way. It can put the right creative on steroids."

Warc's latest International Ad Forecast, which draws from CEASA and IAB data, expects online ad expenditure to top $7.2bn by the end of 2016, up 19.9% from a year earlier. Further growth, of 10.4%, is forecast during 2017.

Data sourced from B&T, IAB Australia; additional content by Warc staff