Total revenue growth for the online classifieds market in Australia in 2011 was 16%, dipping 6% over the 22% growth achieved in 2010. The general shift from print to online expenditure is continuing with online accounting for an estimated 39% of total classifieds advertising expenditure in 2011, up from 18% in 2007.
Frost & Sullivan’s latest report, Australian Online Classifieds Market, due for release in April 2012, revealed that in 2011 total expenditure on online classifieds was $714 million. Growth in expenditure was driven more by the continued shift from print to online rather than an increase in total classifieds expenditure, which increased only by 3.5% in 2011. As the online classifieds market reaches a higher level of maturity, Frost & Sullivan forecasts that annual growth rates will continue to fall with the overall market expected to hover around $1,000 million in 2015.
In the auto online classifieds sector, a significant reduction in revenue growth was shown from 24% in 2010 to 14%, as the publishers found it more difficult to factor in prices rises for standard online classifieds ad placements in a softer and maturing market. This was a similar scenario for the real estate market which also suffered a decline in revenue growth from 24% to 15%. The online employment classifieds market continued to perform strongly during 2011, with annual growth of 19%, and total expenditure of $244 million, with growth only slightly below that of the previous year.
"The CAGR of the overall online classifieds market between 2011 and 2015 is predicted to be 8.8%, with the auto sector outperforming the other sectors, though only by a marginal amount,"said Phil Harpur, Senior Research Manager, Australia & New Zealand ICT Practice.
"A strong mobile channel offering is becoming increasingly important for online classifieds publishers, as audiences fragment across multiple platforms and a growing proportion of users are accessing the internet via mobile devices. "However of the three major online classifieds segments, real estate offers particularly good potential for mobility, as it is the segment for which mobility is most important to site users" explains Phil.
We are also seeing changes in the competitive environment in all the major sectors. For example LinkedIn has now established itself as a viable alternative to traditional recruitment websites, especially in specialist/niche white collar industries where it is the best and fastest medium to reach a network of skilled and networked professionals" Phil elaborated.
In real estate classifieds potential for growth through greater market penetration is limited with 95% of estate agencies are estimated to use the online channels to list properties. "Property advertising expenditure growth will continue to slow with growth driven mainly by increased spending on premium advertising rather than basic listings" he added.
The report also covers the general segment of the online classifieds market, defined as general merchandise categories outside of the three major segments of real estate, employment and automotive. Here, two business models which are impacting and restricting growth in the general online classifieds market are the online auction market and the free classifieds market. "eBay continues to make significant inroads into this market and Gumtree’s level of Internet traffic has grown significantly over the past 2 years" Phil finishes.
Frost & Sullivan's Australian Online Classifieds Market April 2012 report forms part of the Frost & Sullivan Australian Digital Media program. All research services included in this subscription provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available. If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an email with your contact details to Donna Jeremiah, Corporate Communications, at djeremiah[.]frost.com.
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