Australia Online Landscape Review - September 2014

Who loves a good landscape review? I certainly do and now that there is a mobile and tablet index you can impress your friends and colleagues with exciting phrases such as:

-do you know what the top three streaming brands by audience are because I do -YouTube, Facebook, and Vevo

-if you had read the top 10 mass merchandisers by audience data you would know that -Amazon, Woolworths, Coles head that list

-11.5 millions Australians 14 yrs + access the internet everyday via smartphone, up 1 million YOY - it's important to regularly review the online landscape I find. 

Be the smart annoying one in your meeting today. View the full report:

Facebook is just getting started and marketers need to pay attention

I heard a TV journalist on the weekend casually start a question: ‘with social media sites like Facebook declining…” 

Now I’m not sure what measures she was using to get to that (if any) but nothing I’m seeing suggests that Facebook is in decline. From a business point of view, Facebook is looking very healthy. 

First Quarter 2014 Operational Highlights

  • Daily active users (DAUs) were 802 million on average for March 2014, an increase of 21% year-over-year.
  • Mobile DAUs were 609 million on average for March 2014, an increase of 43% year-over-year.
  • Monthly active users (MAUs) were 1.28 billion as of March 31, 2014, an increase of 15% year-over-year.
  • Mobile MAUs were 1.01 billion as of March 31, 2014, an increase of 34% year-over-year. 

First Quarter 2014 Financial Highlights

Revenue - Revenue for the first quarter of 2014 totaled $2.50 billion, an increase of 72%, compared with $1.46 billion in the first quarter of 2013. 

  • Revenue from advertising was $2.27 billion, an 82% increase from the same quarter last year.
  • Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 59% of advertising revenue for the first quarter of 2014, up from approximately 30% of advertising revenue in the first quarter of 2013.
  • Payments and other fees revenue was $237 million for the first quarter of 2014.

Right so they have lots of people but are they making money off them? Well, yes they’re starting to. You just have to look at Mary Meeker’s State of the Internet analysis to see that. 

The figure that Mark Zuckerberg gets most excited about is the highly coveted 'daily visits' which sits around 60%. That’s really high and hasn’t seen the declines that even Facebook predicted once the platform reached a critical mass of users. By getting in to your phone and your daily habits, Facebook has a front-door to the social web that nobody else does. 

Recent acquisitions WhatsApp and Instagram are both in strong growth phases and are providing the younger audiences that Facebook desktop ran the risk of missing as pure mobile products develop. 

Installs of their own app give Facebook the most reach of any mobile product in the US.  Mobile app install ads have been a real winner for Facebook too with mobile app developers using Facebook as way to target and deliver their product in the Google Play or Apple App stores. 

So what’s this talk of declining?

Brands are getting less organic engagement on their brand pages. So you’ll see posts like this that make you think Facebook isn’t worth your brand’s effort. Quality content working together with paid ads is probably the direction you should be looking (for both Facebook and Google content). 

It’s the pay to play model that we’ve talked about before: if you want to target high quality audiences with your content, then you have to pay the same way that you pay for TV ads or billboard locations or the front page of the newspaper. 

Newsfeed ads have been very successful for the company and they are now moving away from those crappy little right hand side ads (which Zuckerberg describes as ‘legacy ads’) to a new design that look a lot more like a standard IAB ad unit, medium rectangle type thing. 

The new battleground is of course, mobile and Facebook is loving on its developers and trying to make things easier for them to develop for their platform by offering services like Parse that make the mobile development environment more simple and easier to monetise. App developers make money, consumers get better products and experiences and ultimately, Facebook makes money and continues to grow. That’s the plan and Austin Carr has written and superb article about it over here you must, must, must read -that’s three musts. 

The ad products are changing all the time and it’s really important that you dig a bit deeper and keep open minded about what you can achieve on different platforms. A campaign that didn’t work 12 months ago might work now. Instagram might be ripe for another look. You might need to take a look at this ‘over indexing of print’ figure and think ‘hmmm, maybe we are over indexed for print’.  

Because if the only  real reason is that 1. you have personal feelpinions and you just don't like Facebook 2. it's scary and you can't keep up and understand these new products, well then it's time to look at some quality data and learn for yourself and make some big girl decisions instead of agreeing with people on the television who might not know what they're talking about. 

Nielsen finds 35 million eyeballs and Tony Abbott refinds a plane

Australia is good at finding things this week. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has re-found the missing Malaysian airlines plane for about the third time and Nielsen have found an additional 2 million internet users. Hooray.

How do you find 2 millions online users?

You change the methodology. It’s all part of a move from publishers and advertisers to guarantee audiences and make sure that your ads aren’t being served to a billboard in the middle of the Sahara with nobody watching.

Mobile and real-time are the tricky things to measure and Nielsen are claiming their future proofing will result in greater accuracy for daily audience numbers and mobile audiences. A mobile and tablet panel is part of the solution with the IAB (which you thought they would have already had wouldn’t you?) but you know, big giants move slow I suppose. 

Why now?

Well the tender is up for the IAB Australia contract-aha!-so Nielsen are battling it out with ComScore to be the measurement standard and thus the currency for ad buying and selling. It’s like DogeCoin but for ads. 

So the new Australian online audience number is [drumroll] 17.5M -you might see a jump in total audience size across media but it shouldn’t affect the reach numbers. 

Australian online ad revenue passes print, gains on TV.

Online ad revenue passed newspaper advertising $1.63bn to $1.5bn in the six months to June and was just behind TV's $1.65bn.

Search and directories was the fastest-growing sector, up 30%, making up 52% of the market and $1.6bn, while general display was up 15% with 27% of market share ($843m)and classifieds up 11% representing 20% of the total market, with $643m.

In mobile general display made up 60.3%, and search the other 39.7%, with 67% of ads delivered on smartphones, and 33% on tablets.

This edition of the report is the first to include estimates of Google and Facebook’s ad revenue shares, along with the data taken from industry.


The information was released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau today, quoting the Commercial Economic Advisory Service of Australia's half-yearly report. An executive summary of the member's only report is available below.