UK classified advertising in print and digital media fell -9% in 2010 to £2.76 billion, and we expect a further decline of -7% in 2011.
Our annual review and outlook concerns the classified advertising categories of recruitment, property, autos (used) and directories, across all media. We assess the continuing structural shift from print formats to less expensive digital media, in the context of prolonged recessionary pressures on local economies in the UK (bar London), which have reduced annual transaction volumes in 2010 by -28% in recruitment, -45% in property and just -16% in used cars, in relation to the peak in 2007.
A key development in recent quarters has been the rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets as emerging platforms for classified advertising by the industries serving them. Consumers are enjoying the additional benefits of on-the-move data (e.g. in the forecourts of auto dealers) and instantaneous updates (e.g. for property rentals), which advertisers are keen to exploit, providing additional revenue opportunities for classified media. B2B classified platforms also monetise integrated brand and listings solutions, plus marketplace tools. New models are evolving that will have implications for other media and in some cases, industry supply chains.