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IABNZ Q4 Report: Interactive Revenue Exceeds $1bn in 2018

Fri, 15 Mar 2019

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Total digital revenue in 2018 reached $1.058 billion following four consecutive quarters of double
digit growth, up almost 15% year-on-year.

The data was drawn from the IABNZ’s Digital Advertising Revenue Report released today by the IABNZ
and Staples Rodway, which also confirmed that Q4 revenue reached $292.4 million, representing
year-on-year growth of 14%, and surpassing Q3 growth on the same period last year, of 13%.

Search revenue reached $659.5 million in 2018, and together with Classified and Directories, they
continue to dominate, combined achieving over 80% of total revenue in 2018, with growth of 22%
and 10% year-on-year respectively, and relatively consistent with performance in the December

For the year, within the Total Display category, growth was underpinned by Native at 60% proving
that it has become an important component of many advertisers’ marketing repertoire. Sponsorship
followed, at 32%, and Video at 16%. Audio also performed well, with year-on-year growth of 84.6%,
albeit off a much lower base.


  • 2018 $1.058bn (15% year-on-year growth)
  • Q4 $292.4m (14% year-on-year growth)
  • Q4 Search revenue $185.0m, 63% of total revenue (20% year-on-year growth)
  • Q4 Classifieds and Directories revenue $51.9m, 18% of total revenue (11% year-on-year
  • Q4 Total Display revenue (all devices) $43.7m, 15% of total revenue (4.8% year-on-year
    Q4 Total Display revenue breakdowns:
    1. General Display revenue, $22.1m (14% year-on-year decrease)
    2. Video revenue $11.3 (19.3% year-on-year growth)
    3. Native revenue $7.8m (44% year-on-year growth)
    4. Sponsorship revenue $2.2m (69% year-on-year growth)
    5. Audio revenue $0.3m (36.4% year-on-year growth)
  • Q4 Social Revenue $11.37m, 4% of total revenue (11.5% year-on-year decrease)
    The largest shift in Display revenue by advertiser category was Real Estate, recording a year-on-year
    increase of 134%.

Mobile revenue (all devices) generated $21.7m, 7.4% of total revenue (7% year-on-year growth) in
the December quarter; of this, Smartphone revenue reached $19.1m or 6.5% of total revenue and
achieved 6% year-on-year growth. Total mobile however, achieved growth of 24% year-on-year in
2018, of which Smartphone’s growth was 26%.

Programmatic revenue, sourced from Standard Media Index (SMI) which is agency spend only, and
net of Google Ad Manager, realised $23.4m in the quarter, or 53.5% of Total Display revenue. It grew
by over 46% in Q4 year-on-year, and 41% across the entire year with 2018 revenue reaching $74.3

As programmatic media normalises in the industry, it’s no surprise to see its growth in popularity for
advertisers.  The initial hype around programmatic has fallen away and we’re left with the original
premise that more efficient and effective media targeting will drive better outcomes for advertisers. 
We also see the growth in programmatic as a good sign that advertisers are becoming more confident

in the transparency of their agency and technology relationships.’ - Richard Thompson (Director,
Future State Consultancy)

Social media revenue recorded $11.7m in Q4 (4% of total revenue), and decreased 11.5% year-on-
year. Currently we use SMI data to measure social media revenue, which only incorporates a part of
New Zealand agency revenue and not direct. We are reviewing our methodology to better measure
Social media revenue, which will be incorporated in the next IABNZ Digital Advertising Revenue
Report for Q1 2019.

The IABNZ’s quarterly Digital Advertising Revenue Report is compiled from a survey conducted
independently by Staples Rodway on behalf of IABNZ each quarter. The results reported are
considered the most accurate measurement of online advertising revenue since the data is compiled
directly from information supplied by companies selling online advertising. All-inclusive, the report
includes data reflecting online advertising revenue from 16 New Zealand online publishers across
their websites and commercial online services.

Become a member and download the report here...