"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 percent in 2011," it said.
"The general shift from print to online expenditure is continuing with online accounting for an estimated 39 percent of total classifieds advertising expenditure in 2011, up from 18 percent in 2007," F&S said. The research firm put the value of the Australian online classifieds market in 2011 at $714 million.
It forecasts that annual growth rates will continue to fall and to hover around the $1,000 million mark in 2015.
Growth of both the auto and real estate online classified slowed significantly from 2010 to 2011: from 24 to 14 percent for auto and 24 to 15 percent for real estate. The recruitment market in contrast fell only slightly achieving 19 percent growth in 2011.
F&S said that a strong mobile channel offering was becoming increasingly important for online classifieds publishers as audiences fragment across multiple platforms and because a growing proportion of users are accessing the Internet via mobile devices.
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