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Online charts another big revenue rise, but display records first ever quarterly drop

Google released its take on the modern consumer consideration process recently and called it the Zero Moment of Truth. And, judging by the latest online advertising revenue figures for New Zealand, marketers are paying attention, with search and directories cash rising by 53 percent year on year. 

Most will now be fairly well-accustomed to releases about rising online revenue, and Q3 2011 ticks that box again, with New Zealand experiencing one of its biggest year-on-year increases in online ad revenue since 2008, growing 27 percent year-on-year.

Total online advertising spend in Q3, 2011 was $89 million, up five percent from Q2, 2011 when it was $84 million.

Along with the rise in search and directories, classifieds were up 15 percent. But display was the odd one out with a seven percent increase year-on-year and a decrease from the last quarter for the first time since the PwC IAB report began, something attributed to the global financial situation and the Rugby World Cup effect. Still, it was just a one percent drop.

“Cross media efficiencies, online video, social media and internet access from mobile devices are some of the main factors driving this growth," says Alisa Higgins, IABNZ general manager says.

Gazing into the crystal ball, IABNZ and PriceWaterhouse are predicting total online ad spend to grow to $398m by 2013, with online expected to increase its current market share from 12 percent to 19 percent. It expects newspapers to continue their downward slide, with expectations it will decrease to 24 percent market share in 2013, down from 35 percent in 2007 (we received a press release on the same day as the IAB results came out saying research suggested 92 percent of New Zealand business owners read a newspaper more than three times a week compared with the global average of 78.6 percent, which put New Zealand 13th out of 39 countries surveyed for newspaper readership).

Liz Fraser, IABNZ chair and general manager MSN New Zealand says the momentum is strong for annualised total online ad spend growth to reach 22 percent year-on-year.

The European financial worries impacted the largest industry category of Investment, Finance and Banking, which reduced share on display advertising by 17 percent compared to Q3 last year. The RWC brought historical Q3 spend levels forward into Q2 for some categories, such as travel and accommodation, which decreased share by 10 percent from Q3 2010 to Q3 2011.

For others, it was all about being in-market during the RWC, with Leisure, Entertainment and Media share growing 45 percent from Q3 in 2010. But the Telecommunication category dropped its share 22 percent from Q3 2010.

Search & Directories is still the channel leader with a 43 percent share of total online ad dollars, up from 41 percent last quarter.

"With the significant investment by the Government to increase access to high speed broadband across the country, the internet will be accessible to more consumers and at faster speeds, increasing the number of eyes viewing online content," says Chris Perree, partner at PwC. "Advertisers should analyse which platforms and technologies are right for them and their target audiences; whether it be through social media pages, online video, real-time ‘geotagging’ deals, or mobile advertising within smartphone applications."

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