BARCELONA: European digital adspend rose by 11.5% to €24.3bn in 2012, according to new figures from IAB Europe, the trade body.

The AdEx Benchmark research showed that digital took a 25.6% share of the all-media total across the 26 European markets measured in 2012, beating newspapers, which took just 19.3%. TV remained the largest medium in adspend terms with a 28.1% share.

Digital adspend growth was slightly down on 2011's increase of 15.3%, but nevertheless outperformed both the traditional media (which dropped -4%) as well as broader GDP across the 26 nations (+3.8%).

Kimon Zorbas, CEO of IAB Europe, said: "Our sector is bucking the trend in Europe."

Daniel Knapp, Director of Advertising Research at IHS Electronics and Media, added: "While the macroeconomic situation in Europe pointed to a challenging year for the media industry in 2012, online advertising tells a better story."

In 2012, growth was most rapid in central and eastern Europe, up 26.6% year on year, while western European markets were up 9.5%. Russia was the fastest-growing nation, overtaking Italy to become the region's fourth-largest online ad nation in 2012, with €1.5bn spent there, 34% higher than a year before.

But almost half of Europe's overall digital adspend came from the "big two" nations of the UK (€6.6bn, a double digit percentage point increase on the year before) and Germany (€4.6bn). France was third on €2.8bn.

Only four nations, Spain, Slovenia, Croatia and Greece, suffered a net decline in digital adspend for 2012. Each has been among the bigger sufferers in the broader European economic volatility of recent years.

Within the individual types of digital ads, search registered the strongest growth, up 15.5% year on year and taking an overall digital adspend share of 49% (€11.9bn). Display was the next biggest segment, up 9.1% (€7.8bn), within which online video rose by just over 50% from 2011 to €662m, taking a double-digit share of the display total for the first time.

Mobile advertising experienced a still more rapid increase, up 78.3% to €392M.

Knapp said: "Search is always in the picture - and mobile search is a huge driver as well. [But] video and mobile are now crucial factors in overall display growth."

Zorbas added: "Display advertising has continued its renaissance, driven both by the recognition of online display as a branding medium and the explosion of the big data economy."

Data sourced from IAB Europe; additonal content by Warc staff