Online advertising expenditure in Australia has reached $2 billion, reported the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) in the ‘Online Advertising Expenditure Report’.

The figure reflects spending for the past 12 months, for the year ended 30 June 2010, showing a total expenditure of $2.043 billion. The second quarter in 2010 recorded record expenditure, with $552.5 million spent – a 22% increase from 2009’s second quarter.

Search and directories advertising accounted for 50% of expenditure, while general display advertising accounted for 26% and classified advertising accounted for 23%. In the past year, all three sectors showed growth, with search and directories advertising experiencing the greatest increase of 16%.

In terms of specific industry expenditure – finance, motor vehicles, computers and communications sectors dominated general display advertising, accounting for 44% of it’s usage (down 4% from last year). The largest industry display advertising expenditure went to motor vehicle manufacturers who were responsible for 10.7% of the total.

Classifieds advertising expenditure was led by the real estate industry, followed by recruitment and then automotive.

Commenting on the report, Paul Fisher, CEO of IAB Australia, said “The long awaited and much forecast $2 billion dollar mark has finally been breached. Powered by strong growth in all three categories and with continued double digit growth forecast, Australian online advertising expenditure is on track to exceed $3 billion in the next four years.”