More articles A survey of internet users in Australia revealed that consumers paid more for their online services last year than in 2016, according to new research by Australian National University.
The research, conducted by the Australian Council of Social Service, also found that Australians are more likely to spend money on “advertising” than on “services”.
“It’s not only the cost of advertising that’s increased but also the cost to the consumer of content they’re buying, of access to a service they’re paying for,” Dr. Anne Murray, a social worker at the University of Sydney’s Australian National Research and Development Centre, told the ABC.
“We’ve got an internet which is really expensive for most Australians to access.
It’s more expensive for Australians to have a broadband connection than for Australians in general to have an internet connection.”
Murray said the increase in advertising was driven by changes to internet service providers.
“There has been a lot of deregulation, the internet is being privatised, so they’re trying to do a lot more of what the industry has been doing for decades and decades now, which is to make a more concentrated monopoly,” she said.
Murray said many Australians would have spent more money on services like Netflix or Amazon if they could afford them, but the industry had “not responded in a way that reflects the kind of social and economic services that Australians want to see.”
Murray also said that online ads have “disrupted” social interaction in Australia, leading to people spending more time “looking at social media and watching more videos.”
The study, titled “Advertising and the social contract,” was conducted in conjunction with the Australian College of Social Workers, the Australian Social Research Centre, and the Australian Institute of Social Sciences.
It found that Australian internet users spent $3.2 billion on advertising last year, while only $1.2 million was spent on services, and a whopping $6.2 trillion was spent globally.
Murray described the findings as “a major change” from 2016, when Australian consumers spent $5.2-billion on advertising.
“It would have been quite a lot less, but advertising has been quite the big change in Australian society and in social interaction,” she told the BBC.
“That’s why we think that’s really good news for the Australian economy.”
Murray pointed out that Australia had been a world leader in online advertising, but was still “lagging behind” the US in the amount of ads sold on the internet.
“In 2016, we had $10 billion of internet advertising in Australia and $7 billion of advertising in the United States,” she explained.
“Now, in 2017, that’s down to $4 billion.”
Murray’s research also found Australians were more likely than Americans to use the internet to find and share their favourite brands, as well as to search for products online.
“This is a really good time for advertising in terms of both the social and the economic value of advertising,” Murray said.
“And we’re seeing a shift away from the traditional digital ad space to a more social, online, social media advertising space.”