Per head, Aussie advertisers spending twice as much online

The Australian arm of the Interactive Advertising Bureau has been first out of the blocks with online advertising stats for Q2.

For the three months to June 30, the IAB recorded a 9.8% jump in online spending over the June quarter in 2008, with revenue reaching $A453 million ($NZ539). Growth over the March quarter was less stellar, at 3%. And both quarters were actually down on Q4 2008 - a quarter that has always been seasonally high - on $A462 million ($NZ550 million).

The latest IAB figure for New Zealand - for Q1 - revealed a 7.99% increase over the year-ago quarter, with revenue hitting $NZ46.2 million.

The IAB tracks online advertising in 25 countries through PriceWaterhouseCoopers surveys of major publishers’ websites, and search and directory sites, including Google (and, in New Zealand, Yellow and Yahoo!Xtra). In Australia, around 1000 sites are tracked.

The down-under figures are rosier than the US market, where the IAB tracked a 5.5% fall during the first quarter - the first decline in online ad revenue in seven years.

Above: For its full financial year, also ending June 30, the IAB Australia recorded 18.5% year-on-year growth, with total online ad spend reaching $A1.8 billion ($NZ2.14 billion).But although the first half of 2009 has seen a big ramp up over 2008, spending for the first two quarters of this year ($A440 million and $453 million, respecitvely) has been lower that the last two quarters of 2009 ($A451 million and $A462 million), but the June quarter showed a perk up.

Per-capita spend double NZ's
“With the economy showing early signs of recovery, the online industry is well on track to exceed $A2 billion ($NZ2.38 billion) in calendar 2009,” said IAB Australia chief executive Paul Fisher.

The IAB in New Zealand has yet to take a punt on a specific figure full calendar year, but has predicted double digit growth over 2008. At the end of Q1, trailing 12-month online ad spend was $NZ197 million.

Allowing for the population difference (NZ is now has 4.32 million people, by our population clock, to Australia's 21.87 million) , that means Aussie advertisers are spending twice as much online as their counterparts across the Tasman.

Above: Aussie online ad-spending over the past seven years has closely mirrored NZ, with search and directory growing to eclipse display, and the classified category falling behind. For the trailing 12 months in Australia, display accounted for 27% of online ad spend, classified for 24% and search and directories for 49%. The New Zealand mix (in Q1 - display: 36%, classified: 36%, search and directory 38%) is skewed more toward classified - a measure of the power of TradeMe's jobs, cars and auto sections.

Hot and not
For the June quarter in Australia, search and directory increased 19% sequentially. General and display ads were up 10%, while classifieds decreased 5.9%.

The broad trends mirror this tracked in New Zealand during Q1. In both markets, online classifieds have been hit by the decline in real-estate, automotive and employment ads.

The Aussie Q2 survey found the computers & communications and motor vehicle sectors continue to be the dominant industries using general display advertising, accounting for 45.5% of spending in the category.

But a notable up and comer was government spending on display ads, which increased from 2.7% of the category for the six months January to June 2008 to 4.5% for the corresponding period in 2009.

Other metrics from the display section of the survey:

* Finance, which incorporates Business Banking, Credit Cards, Home Loans, Superannuation, Personal Banking, Wealth Management and Other Finance, was the highest spending Advertiser Industry Category in the second-quarter 2009 with 19.6%, an increase in its share from 19.1% in first-quarter 2009.

* Computers & Communications was second with a 14% share, a large increase from 12.4% in first-quarter 2009

* Motor vehicles recorded an 11.9% share, a large decrease from 14.5% in first-quarter 2009.

* Entertainment & Leisure recorded an 8.1% share, an increase from 7.4% in first-quarter 2009.

* Travel/Accommodation recorded a 7.5% share, a decrease from 8.1% in first-quarter 2009.

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