Australia’s digital advertising industry contributed $94 million to the national GDP and was responsible for $55.5 billion in social value in terms of consumer benefits in 2021-2022, a fresh report claims.

The Ad’ing Value report, commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Australia and produced by PwC, found the digital advertising industry’s contribution is the equivalent of more than 4 per cent of GDP and 3 per cent of total employment in Australia in 2021-2022. It further showed the ecosystem to be responsible for 450,000 jobs, including 24,600 directly.

The social value of digital advertising was a key area under the spotlight in the report. According to Ad’ing Value, the average Australian consumer’s perceived value of access to free ad-supported digital services and content is $544 per annum, or $8.8bn to consumers annually and $1100 to households. Social value included benefits such as strengthening and connecting communities, providing increased access to job opportunities, education and financial information as well as entertainment content.

For instance, 78 per cent of consumers indicated digital content and services enable them to stay in contact more easily with friends and family, increasing to 81 per cent in regional areas. Ad-supported online content and services were most important to lower-income consumers, with those on annual incomes below $50,000 reporting the value they attribute to content and services currently free as roughly double that of consumers with annual incomes of at least $80,000.

There’s also the thriving second-hand marketplace in the mix: 40 per cent of consumers regularly find or purchase second-hand products online via the circular economy, the report noted.

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