Decoding the Digital Advertising Trends Shaping Australia in 2024

In the ever-changing advertising industry, staying ahead of the curve is no longer a choice but a necessity for media owners and buyers. The impact that programmatic and digital advertising trends have on connecting businesses with their audiences can’t be underestimated. Australia, known for its diverse and tech-savvy population, has consistently been a pioneer in the evolution of digital advertising. This dynamic landscape combines creativity with data-driven precision, constantly reshaping the rules of engagement.

As we enter 2024, the Australian advertising scene is set to become even more captivating, sophisticated, and demanding. In a recent webinar we hosted, industry experts Charles Dangibeaud from GroupM and Diane Ho from Paramount ANZ delved into the key trends and challenges that lie ahead. These include shifts in consumer behaviour, regulatory changes, sustainability, and the transformative impact of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR) on marketing strategies.

Here are some of their top insights to help you navigate the upcoming year successfully.

1. The rise of premium streaming video and changing consumer behaviour

The advertising landscape has witnessed significant growth in recent years, driven by the rapid expansion of premium streaming video and connected TV (CTV). This growth has been influenced by factors such as rising inflation and the substantial investments broadcasters have made in data, technology, consumer experience, and content. Additionally, the surge in free ad-supported services and subscription video on demand (VOD) is expected to continue well into 2024, resulting in increased supply and competition.

“The continued rise and growth of premium streaming video and CTV is one of the key trends in the industry. Consumers are still highly engaged with free ad-supported services, and the growth of FAST (free ad-supported television) channels is expected to be a significant trend in the coming year.”

Diane Ho, national digital sales director, Network 10/Paramount ANZ

Furthermore, there’s an increased emphasis on the convergence of identity and first-party data, which is leading to greater relevance and personalisation in advertising. More brands are seeking data collaboration and clean room solutions to leverage and enhance their advertising strategies.

2. The digitisation of channels, data-driven strategies, and the growth of retail media

Linear and offline channels have undergone a substantial transformation as they transition into the digital landscape, resulting in a fundamental change to the delivery of advertising and media activations. There’s a noticeable surge in the adoption of data-driven strategies and AI, with marketers incorporating these tools into their approaches to maintain competitiveness.

“The profound digitisation of channels, notably observed in CTV, digital audio, and digital out-of-home, is experiencing significant effects, mainly influenced by shifts in consumer behaviour. The rapid adoption of e-commerce and online purchasing is also following a promising trajectory. Research by GroupM and eMarketer indicates that by the end of 2023, approximately 75% of Australians will likely be engaging in online shopping, with an impressive 97% making their purchases through mobile devices.”

Charles Dangibeaud, product director, GroupM

Dangibeaud also underscored the escalating prevalence of data-driven strategies and the integration of AI in marketing initiatives. Leveraging these technologies is crucial for marketers looking to thrive in the ever-evolving and competitive landscape of digital advertising.

3. Navigating regulatory changes and privacy concerns

As the scheduled deprecation of third-party cookies and the ongoing updates to the Australian Privacy Act loom, marketers need to remain knowledgeable and ensure compliance with international privacy regulations. Marketers must incorporate these considerations into the development of new products and services to stay competitive.

“Marketers should proactively start getting ready for several upcoming changes and privacy considerations as they approach 2024. At GroupM, we’ve been placing significant focus on preparation for the two major anticipated shifts: firstly, the amendments to the Australia Privacy Act, and secondly, the phasing out of cookies.”

Charles Dangibeaud, product director, GroupM

4. The introduction of total TV and Virtual Australia (VoZ)

The significance of total TV arises from the observed shifts in consumption patterns. It’s imperative not to consider linear and VOD in isolation, as consumer content viewing isn’t confined to one format. Therefore, effective measurement becomes crucial, enabling agencies to plan, measure, and ultimately establish a currency, a pivotal aspect of the roadmap for VoZ.

In the realm of total TV, a noteworthy trend is the increasing number of brands providing briefs that encompass the entirety of TV. This departure from isolated approaches involves merging budgets and seeking media agency responses for comprehensive TV solutions. The focus is on leveraging datasets to explore converged TV trading, encompassing aspects such as budget fluidity and audience targeting across demographics. The goal is to deliver to desired audiences, measure reach and frequency, and adapt to the evolving landscape.

VOZ Streaming is a significant initiative in this context, that commercial broadcasters, including Network 10/Paramount ANZ, are participating in. This collaborative effort aims to seamlessly integrate linear and BVOD, ensuring a holistic approach to audience targeting and measurement utilising VOZ.

“VOZ Streaming will provide an understanding of Total TV reach across linear and programmatic buys. Inventory will be post-analysed against the VOZ Total TV database, reporting on the incremental and unique reach that BVOD delivers to a linear television campaign. It will effectively manage frequency across the participating broadcasters and also captures co-viewing.”

Diane Ho, national digital sales director, Network 10/Paramount ANZ

5. The Impact of AI and personalisation on digital advertising

AI and AR are expected to have the most significant impact on digital advertising in the upcoming year. The ability of AI to analyse massive amounts of data rapidly can greatly enhance personalisation in targeting, media optimisation, and data analysis. Meanwhile, AR provides a creative way to engage consumers and enhance personalisation.

“So you know if we’re going to think about the benefits that AI can bring in digital advertising, the first one is about personalisation and targeting. AI can analyse massive amounts of data, understand behaviours, preferences, and allow for highly personalised advertising campaigns, in highly privacy-compliant areas.”

Charles Dangibeaud, product director, GroupM

6. Sustainability remains a key focus

It comes as no surprise that sustainability is increasingly taking a central role in the strategies of both media owners and media buyers in 2024. The industry recognises its responsibility to contribute to a more sustainable digital ecosystem, with tools like planning calculators and real-time sustainability dashboards serving as assets for media buyers to assess and reduce carbon emissions.

Emphasising responsible investing, especially in supporting responsible journalism, is crucial. Simultaneously, media owners are aiming to reduce carbon emissions and promote more sustainable production, marking a trend likely to extend throughout the broadcasting landscape.

“We were the first commercial broadcaster to invest in Sustainable Screens Australia and we’ll be implementing their tools and calculator into The Dog House Australia next year as well as encouraging our production partners to also adopt best practice models.”

Diane Ho, national digital sales director, Network 10/Paramount ANZ

“WPP has set a global target of reducing our operational supply chain emissions, otherwise known as scope 3 emissions, by 50% by 2030. We feel like we’ve made a lot of progress in the year, but we think that both of these are great ways for brands and agencies to truly understand how their media plans are performing from a carbon emissions standpoint.”

Charles Dangibeaud, product director, GroupM

The Australian digital advertising landscape is on the brink of a transformative shift. In 2024, the amalgamation of creativity and data-driven precision will be at the forefront, steering this vibrant arena, and reshaping the connections between businesses and consumers.

Noteworthy focal points for marketers gearing up for the upcoming year include the surge in premium streaming video and evolving consumer behaviour, the digitisation of channels, the ascent of retail media, adeptly navigating regulatory changes; the advent of total TV and VOZ; and the profound influence of AI and personalisation.

Furthermore, sustainability has taken centre stage, with media owners and buyers actively contributing to a more sustainable digital ecosystem. 

As the industry braces for an engaging, sophisticated, and demanding advertising landscape, it’s evident that adaptability and innovation will be the linchpins for success in the ever-evolving digital advertising ecosystem in Australia.

Learn more about how Index can help you harness these ‌opportunities in 2024.

Janette Higginson

Janette Higginson

vice president of buyer development, APAC

With 13 years of experience in digital marketing and 10 years focused on programmatic, Janette has built a solid career in the ad tech community, serving as an educator of programmatic advertising for buyers and using her consultative approach to strategically align with customer needs. Janette began her career in journalism before entering the world of digital sales for Linkedin, iCumulus and Yahoo7, where she sharpened her programmatic trading and management skills. From there, Janette worked at Criteo before moving on to Postr and becoming Global Head of Ad Strategy and Platforms. In 2018, she joined Index Exchange — the world’s largest, independent advertising exchange — where she leads all buy-side business endeavours across APAC.

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