Search is close to overtaking TV as the highest value advertising medium in Australia, according to the latest data from WARC, CEASA, OMA, ThinkTV and the Internet Advertising Bureau. Search accounted for 22.0% (A$3,571 million) of total adspend last year, just 2.7 percentage points (pp) below TV's share of 23.7% (A$4,002 million). Following an initial difference in share of 25.3pp in 2008, the gap is expected to shrink further to just 1.0pp in 2018.

In third-place was newspapers (9.6%), followed by mobile display (9.4%), online classified (9.2%), desktop display (8.2%) and radio (7.8%). Further behind was outdoor (5.7%), magazines (2.7%) and cinema (0.9%).

Mobile display registered the greatest year-on-year growth in advertising spend, up 18.7% in 2017 to A$1,521 million. Online classified has also shown strong growth, rising 15.2% from the previous year. Other media recording positive year-on-year growth were cinema (+6.7%), outdoor (+6.1%), search (+4.7%) and radio (+0.5%). Magazines saw the greatest dip from 2016 levels, down 10.6%. This was followed by newspapers (-8.3%), desktop display (-5.6%) and TV (-3.2%).

Total Australian adspend is forecast to reach A$16,555 million this year, equal to A$658 per person. While TV is losing share in total advertising expenditure, it is also losing share in total display adspend – mostly to mobile, desktop and out of home.