A staggering 63% year-on-year growth in spend by Australia's online advertisers raised internet ad revenues to A$448 million ($343.49m; £186.29m; €275.40m) in the last financial year, according to latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Verification Services.

Online's rapidly increasing slice of the nation's A$10 billion advertising cake has led some publishers to predict it will pass both magazines and radio by the end of 2006. These media accounted for A$841m and A$894m respectively in the year to March. Online already surpassed the outdoor sector last year.

Says an ebullient Martin Hoffman, ceo of Microsoft and PBL's tie-up operation ninemsn: "We've seen some conservative predictions recently for how the market will look in 2009. We are confident that we'll see growth like this next year and in the years to come."

Commentators account online's success to advertisers' increasing use of the medium for branding campaigns, together with the "rich media" opportunities presented by the expansion of high-speed internet connections.

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