Love affair with classifieds continues, search and directories a worthy suitor

IABNZ’s interactive advertising spend figures for the third quarter of this year — based on a census of over 40 Kiwi media owners and agencies — shows total online spend is up 27 percent year on year to $120 million.

Search and directories, up 41 percent year on year, and classifieds, up 13 percent, were among the standouts.

Mobile spend was up 104 percent to $1.44 million in Q3, broken down into $0.85 million for mobile and $0.59 million for tablets, but before this year’s first quarter mobile was included in IAB’s display spend category rather than meriting its own space.

Classified numbers have held steady across the last few years in New Zealand, says IABNZ general manager Alisa Higgins.

“Classifieds is a really interesting story. IAB internationally put out a similar report and in the US it’s reallly low. That’s because they’ve been in an economic downturn and that’s affected jobs and property.

“Trade Me in New Zealand has a very strong hold on the classifieds market. A lot of banks are dealing with Trade Me and they’re very smart, looking at who they’re partnering with.”

She adds there’s plenty of room for growth in search and directory spend, where the New Zealand percentage sits at 43 percent while that of Australia and most mature markets is 50 percent.

IAB records paid search as a mixture of actual agency spend and estimated direct data, including revenue from online directories. Classifieds are shown as revenue from ads placed to buy or sell an item or service, but excludes consumer Trade Me auctions.

The total online spend for Q3 comprises three percent for social media, one percent for mobile, 27 percent for classifieds and 43 percent for search and directories.

The IAB  figures seem to show a disconnect between where spend is placed and the attention Kiwis devote to certain media. Television, for example, was rated 34 percent for attention given to the medium, with 28 percent spend; radio 18 percent for attention and 11 percent for spend; newspapers six percent compared with 25 percent spend; magazines three percent against ten percent spend and interactive 40 percent attention versus 17 percent spend.

This could be a case of old habits dying hard in some sectors, Higgins believes. However, she points to some demographics using traditional media in new ways. “For example, with television, most of the youth demographic don’t watch TV as we would traditionally call it watching TV, they’re using YouTube and tablets and mobiles.”

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