Expenditure on online classifieds in Australia displayed overall growth of 10% during 2013 to reach $780 million. However, there was a wide disparity in the growth rates of individual segments. Expenditure on real estate classifieds increased by 24% in 2013, and expenditure on automotive classifieds increased by 6%. However, there was a significant drop in revenue in the employment segment of -4%.
Employment classifieds were affected by a relatively weak job market in much of 2013, which impacted on the volume of job adverts. Additionally, Fairfax Media’s withdrawal from paid job classifieds during 2013 has impacted revenue growth. However, the move to a free classifieds model by Fairfax Media could significantly increase the volume of job seekers accessing their site.
LinkedIn has also established itself as a viable alternative to traditional recruitment websites. The market position of LinkedIn has been growing strongly in Australia from a small base, however its market is still mainly constrained to niche white collar job categories such as technology.
Fairfax Media officially launched a joint partnership with global job aggregator Adzuna in January 2014. Fairfax aims to significantly expand its number of job listings via the Adzuna partnership. Adzuna will promote itself through Fairfax’s print and online audience. Adzuna’s lower listing cost model also gives it a competitive advantage for some job classifications.
The real estate segment achieved very strong growth in 2013, as a result of strong residential housing markets in most states, and continued success by the major portals in converting customers to greater use of premium / depth products. Customers have generally accepted the additional benefits that premium products bring, and this trend is supported by the fact that advertising costs are generally born by the vendor and not the agent. Very low interest rates have been a key driver behind the rise in residential property prices and this has also led to an increase in new housing construction and in turn more activity in the developer market.
The automotive market saw a year of sub-par growth of 6% during 2013, due to relatively slow growth from market leader Carsales and further consolidation amongst other publishers.
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