Online advertising shows dramatic growth

Australia's online advertising market grew 62.7 percent to reach $488 million in the last year, according to the results released this week by the Audit Bureau of Verification Services (ABVS).

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Search and directories advertising revenue grew most dramatically, 78.1 percent to $165 million. General advertising revenue grew 47.1 percent to $154 million, classified revenue was up 64.6 percent to $169 million.

The finance industry continues to be the big spender in general advertising with recruitment agencies maintaining number one position for classifieds.

Managing director of Yahoo Australia and New Zealand, Cliff Rosenberg said increases in its business are in line with the ABVS findings.

"This once again highlights how the advertising dollars are following the eyes, ears and hands of consumers as they migrate from other media towards online," he said.

Rosenberg said that online is now an essential part of the marketing mix for any company, as there are over 10 million Australians online each month.

More than 30 percent of media consumption is now online, Rosenberg said. "The trend is set to continue as broadband, convergent devices and improved content and services bring more and more customers to the Web," he said.

Both print and online media target a wide variety of customers, according to Rosenburg.

"We do, however, see a lucrative market segment in, for example, the readership and consumption of online finance news, driven by the variety, currency and interactivity of online news," he said.

Rosenburg is confident that online will be the fastest growing media sector for the next few years. He believes it will be driven by the increased adoption of high-speed broadband which will enable more sophisticated and interactive use of the Web.

"3G networks will also make browsing the Internet a much more viable experience on handheld devices, which will further increase the target market."

Simon Baker, realestate.com.au CEO, can also vouch for the growth in online revenue.

"I think online is set to grow even more [in the near future]. At the moment we think of accessing online via a computer but more and more it will be accessed by phones, TV and who knows what - silicon implants! Who knows what is going to happen. We do know that the future of media is electronic and digital," he said.

Baker said realestate.com.au had two million unique browsers in August which is up 60 percent on this time last year. Baker is projecting a further 50 percent growth in the next year.

"If I have to be in the media game, I want to be in this media. I don't want to be anywhere else. We have more opportunities than you can even imagine - it's just up to us to catch those opportunities," he said.

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