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web ads grow 30pc year on year

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    THE online ad industry defied the economic slowdown to report year-on-year growth of almost 30 per cent for the third quarter.

    Online advertising figures released by the Internet Advertising Bureau yesterday revealed spending had jumped $103.5 million to a third-quarter total of $451.25 million.

    The 29.8 per cent leap defied predictions earlier in the week that growth would struggle to top 14 per cent.

    But the results have been marred by a dramatic slowdown in online classified advertising, which grew just 2.5 per cent on the second quarter of 2008.

    The sector increased by just $2.75 million in the three months to September, although its year-on-year growth was a far healthier 25 per cent, rising to a total of $114 million for the quarter.

    Search and directories remain the bedrock of the online sector, accounting for 47 per cent of all advertising spending.

    The total spend for the quarter topped $212 million, growing by 13 per cent for the quarter and 33 per cent year-on-year.

    However, the report's authors noted that search was now growing faster than directories.

    Growth continued in general display advertising, peaking at $126 million for the quarter and rising 29 per cent on the same period last year.

    Display now commands 27.8 per cent of total spending, with classifieds accounting for 25.2 per cent.

    As in previous IAB reports, the finance industry, computer and communications, and car industries remain the dominant users of online display ads accounting for a total of 52.2 per cent of display.

    Ed Smith, chief commercial officer of News Digital Media, a division of The Australian's publisher, News Limited, said the advertising audience was broadening.

    "We have been seeing a lot more retail and fast-moving consumer goods and also a lot of the TV networks using rich video content," Mr Smith said.

    "I think in this market there is a flight to accountability."


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