Online advertising spend nears £5 billion

The study from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), conducted by PwC, said advertising on the internet increased by 14.4 percent to 4.8 billion pounds in 2011.

Reuters reports that Britain has led the way in terms of moving advertising money from traditional areas of spending like newspapers and radio to the internet due to the high level of internet access and the proliferation of smartphones which allow users to access the internet on the go. The IAB said 39.7 million people were on average accessing the internet each month in Britain, while 27 percent of all the time spent online was spent on social networks.

Among the fastest areas of online growth, spending on online video ads doubled in the year to 109 million pounds and has now grown eight-fold since 2008. Spending on social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn was up 75 percent to 240 million pounds.

And spending on mobile devices, which is included in online spend, was up 157 percent to 203 million pounds due to the increasing number of people who own smartphones.

Tim Elkington, the director of research and strategy at the IAB said “Online and mobile advertising have experienced staggering growth since this study began in 1997.”

“The 2011 results are full of breakthroughs for digital; with online display passing the 1 billion pound barrier for the first time, proving that advertisers increasingly recognise the central role that online plays in their marketing campaigns.”