Online advertising revenue is growing 18.5 per cent year-on-year, according to figures released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).
According to the research, compiled by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, digital ad-spend for the financial year ending 30th June 2009 passed $1.8 billion.
The three-month quarter to June 30 accounted for $453 million of this total, a growth of 9.8 per cent from the same period in 2008.
Twelve leading Australian online advertising houses have formed a new body, Internet Advertising Sales House of Australia (IASH), which will replace the Internet Advertising Networks of Australia (IANA).
First Digital Media, formed by Eric Beecher and headed by former head of media sales at realestate.com.au Oliver Hinton, has been established to cross network four websites.
The enterprise offers advertisers access to a highly targeted audience of rich, smart people, Hinton stated in an interview with The Australian.
"The unique component is the cut-through to this audience," he said.
"It is undiluted reach to extremely affluent individuals with senior positions in their businesses."
The sites didn't compete with each other, Beecher said.
"And when you put them together ... it offered advertisers a compelling solution," he said.
The websites are run from the same premises but have different ownership structures, Beecher being the only shareholder common to each.
Business news and commentary site BusinessSpectator and investor site EurekaReport are published by Australian Independent Business Media, which is owned by Beecher and a number of senior journalists and investment bankers.
News and gossip site Crikey is published by Private Media, which Beecher co-owns with Diana Gribble and some minority shareholders.
SmartCompany, which focuses on entrepreneurs and business owners, is run by SmartCompany.com.au, which is principally owned by Beecher, Gribble and Amanda Gome. The four sites attracted an unduplicated audience of about 640,000 unique browsers a month, Hinton said.
Research showed that 80 per cent of them had tertiary or post-graduate qualifications; 46 per cent earned more than $104,000 per annum; 60 per cent held senior roles within their organisation; and 28 per cent had more than $1million in personal investments.
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