STAMFORD, CT: Digital & alternative (D&A) media account for almost one quarter of global advertising and marketing revenues, according to a new study which predicts their share will reach one third in the next four years.

In its report Global Digital & Alternative Media Revenue Forecast 2014-18, researchers PQ Media said that spending on D&A media – it lists 40 such channels ranging from online search and digital outdoor to consumer events and word of mouth – rose 11.9% to $252.12bn in 2013, compared to a 0.8% increase in traditional media revenues to $754.87bn, as the combined total exceeded $1tr for the first time.

Growth is expected to be even higher in 2014, at 13.7%, driven by mobile social media, mobile gaming, online video, online videogames, digital place-based networks, and word-of-mouth marketing. There has also been a boost from the Winter Olympics in Russia at the start of the year and the summer World Cup in Brazil.

Patrick Quinn, CEO, PQ Media, described D&A media revenues as being "supercharged by the mobile juggernaut across various advertising and marketing channels" and noted that major brands were shifting budgets to mobile search, as tablet penetration rose and PC households declined.

Global D&A advertising revenues jumped 14.7% to $102.63bn in 2013, while D&A marketing rose more slowly, by 10%, to $149.52bn, a 41:59 split.

The US was the largest market, growing 12.6% in 2013 to hit $103bn, split 34:66 between advertising and marketing. This was almost five times the size of second-ranked Japan. India was the fastest growing D&A market, up 21.3%. The UK had the highest D&A media share of its total media revenues at 30.6% in 2013, followed by Japan, Canada and Australia, and the US placing seventh with a 26.5% share.

Looking further out, PQ Media projected D&A media revenues to rise at a 14.2% CAGR over the next five years to reach $489.76bn in 2018.

Data sourced from PQ Media; additional content by Warc staff