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Picture: 123RF/ RVLSOFT
Picture: 123RF/ RVLSOFT

Internet advertising spend accounts for 32.3% of overall advertising spend, up from 29.6% in 2020 and 22.8% in 2019, according to the recently released “IAB SA/PwC Internet Advertising Revenue Report 2021”.

Despite the impacts of the pandemic, sustainable high digital growth is expected as the economy continues to recover. The annual report aims to quantify the size of domestic media revenues both online and via mobile.

The report found that total internet advertising revenue for 2021 was worth R12.1bn, R2.9bn more than in 2020.

Paid search grew by 16.8% to 20.4% in 2021, up from 3.6% in 2020. Google remains the leader in paid search, accounting for 99% of revenue in 2021, while Google Chrome is the most popular browser in SA, with 69.4% of people using it.

Categories with the highest percentage of media spend are finance (29%), fast-moving consumer goods (14%) and alcohol (11%)

Data privacy remains a significant concern in SA, with nearly half of respondents saying they decline cookies at least some of the time while 40.4% say they use ad blockers.

Well over half of all respondents — 61.5% — aged 13 or older are using social media, with Meta accounting for 80.3% of paid social revenue in 2021.

Categories with the highest percentage of media spend are finance (29%), fast-moving consumer goods (14%) and alcohol (11%).

Performance-based ad campaigns are the most popular campaigns, accounting for 47% of all purchases.

IAB SA chair Haydn Townsend says the analysis and findings are based on actual figures and provide realistic, reliable and trustworthy data that can be used by media agencies, publishers and marketers for improved decision-making.

The IAB concedes that the data set may not be complete, but says both it and PwC are committed to providing a consolidated, instructive view of advertising spending that can assist to inform publishers’ commercial models and monetisation strategies.

The big take-out: Sustainable high digital growth is expected in SA.

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