While some sectors of the advertising industry have struggled in recent years, online advertising has gone from strength to strength. The latest predictions from the Online Advertising Bureau (IAB) Australia have online advertising spending hitting AU$3 billion by 2012, well up from the AU$2.27 billion reported for 2010.
Online advertising spending in Australia for the last three months of 2010 totalled AU$627.75 million, an increase of 22 percent over the same period a year, representing the biggest single quarterly result every recorded.
The figures were compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which has previously predicted that online will become the single most lucrative medium by 2014. PwC has not indicated whether the latest figures mean that prediction needs be brought forward.
Online advertising still has a lot of growth ahead of it. Even these latest figures still place it third in terms of share of advertising dollars, behind newspapers and television. This is despite the Internet soaking up about 25 percent of our media consumption time.
As we move to faster and more ubiquitous broadband services, a greater proportion of our media consumption will move online also, especially as we switch to new behaviours such as reading newspapers and magazines on iPads, or watching Google or IPTV services over the Internet on televisions. Advertising consumed through these services will also be counted as online advertising, and show another way that online advertising will make inroads into traditional advertising mediums.
It may be that in the future we drop the distinction of Internet-based advertising altogether, in favour of measuring spending against the media type, rather than the media channel. Ie, instead of assigning television and YouTube to separate media, they are both classed as ‘video’. Similarly, a magazine ad on and iPad or on paper is just ‘magazine’. With the rapid spread of Internet-based digital signage, even outdoor advertising might need to be considered in a similar way.