Last updated on May 10th, 2018 at 12:35 pm

IAB has released its 2015 online advertising spend summary and there are a few surprises in the numbers published last week.

Total online advertising spend in 2015

Last year New Zealand companies spent a whooping $800 million on digital advertising, from search to mobile and video. It has been again the biggest year on record and search investment saw the highest increase – from $310 million in 2014 to $446 last year:


From the data we can also see that the mobile investment more than doubled, which is a reflection of growing mobile traffic volumes across all categories. Display figures are not showing as rapid growth as expected, but that could be down to the lack of data, as more brand invest with overseas networks, outside of IAB’s reporting channels.

2015 channel mix


Overall the contribution of mobile and social is still relatively low compared to other channels, but with the steady growth rates in the past few years we can expect for this trend to continue. And while IAB insists on reporting Video as a part of Display (why? – we don’t know), independently Video spend last year was higher than Mobile, at estimated $29 million.

Q4 2015

While the annual trends show high investment across all channels, Q4 in particular offers an interesting insight to the Christmas trends. With the last quarter again the highest on record, with over $200 million spent, the end of the calendar year is becoming the busiest for digital marketing activities. And this year it was display, mobile and programmatic which grew most year-on-year, demonstrating the importance of effective acquisition channels during that time of the year:


This is something advertisers should be taking into account when planning annual budgets. To maintain strong visibility in digital channels towards November/December, you need to be prepared to invest more, optimize more and be flexible, as increased competition can impact the results very quickly.

Talk so us about your long-term strategies and budget planning, so that you’re well prepared for 2016.