Australia's Traditional Media Warned of Online Assault

24 January 2006

Australia's magazine publishers and radio broadcasters have been warned that the advance of online advertising is set to sweep away all before it.

A new survey by Oz industry analysts Frost & Sullivan says spending on internet ads soared nearly 50% to A$605 million ($456m; €371m; £255m) in 2005, and estimates the medium will grow by an extra 25% each year until 2009.

The report posits that although the internet still significantly lags newspapers and television in terms of ad dollars, it is very quickly making inroads on less robust media.

Comments the report's author, Foad Fadaghi: "What we're seeing here is a generational change with the internet. Ultimately, what we will treat as normal TV in 15 years time will be delivered over the internet."

He adds that "normally conservative" media owners such as News Corporation's Rupert Murdoch are "now very much locked into the future of internet".

Australian media guru Harold Mitchell concedes that the internet "is cannibalising all media to some extent, but not one individual medium".

And although he points to similar hype about the internet before the dotcom crash of 2000, he does suggest the report's assumptions are more solid, thanks to the rapid expansion of broadband.

Adds Mitchell: "It's no longer just other dotcommers using the internet. This time it's real companies; the marketers have learnt how to use it and I think it's for real."

Data sourced from Sydney Morning Herald; additional content by WARC staff