The Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA) has unveiled its ‘History of the Australian Web’ project, which establishes a permanent and public record of the major trends of the Australian internet since 2001.

The project combines an interactive visual display for users to track how the most popular online properties have evolved, and continue to evolve in the early part of the 21st century.

“This project has revealed some fascinating insights into Australian web usage and creates a much needed snapshot of the Australian internet landscape and longer-term trends,” said AIMIA CEO, John Butterworth.

Paul McCarthy, chair of AIMIA Awards Judging and the creative force behind the project, notes that many of Australia’s media industries including book, music and film publishing, have long maintained public records charting music sales, television ratings, bestseller lists and box office records, and that these have created important and enduring chronicles of the evolution of these industries.

“The goal of the ‘History of the Australian Web’ project is to provide a similar chronicle of Australia’s Internet and for it to become a captivating resource for students, industry commentators and others locally and around the world,” asserted McCarthy.

According to the findings of the project, Australia’s active internet audience grew 60% (from 7.2 million people to 11.7 million) but in the same period our use of the internet more than doubled. In terms of page views per person, usage grew 120% (595 to 1307) and time spent per person grew 126% (9.25 hours per month to 21 hours per month).

Australians have also fervently adopted social networking sites like Facebook, they love using search engines and have taken to online retail – in 2008 it emerged as one of the highest growth sectors on Australian internet.

Top 20 sites ranked by annual growth (in terms of time spent on site) from 2005-2008:

    Rank      Site        Avg Annual Growth

  • 1               90.9%
  • 2       73.8%
  • 3                39.0%
  • 4        36.1%
  • 5           25.7%
  • 6          25.3%
  • 7              22.9%
  • 8         22.6%
  • 9            21.8%
  • 10           20.4%
  • 11        19.1%
  • 12        15.1%
  • 13          13.3%
  • 14             12.2%