NEW YORK: US internet ad revenues rose 18% in the first half of the year to reach a new high of $20.1bn, according to data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

The Internet Advertising Revenue Report from the trade body also revealed that mobile revenues had surged by 145% in the same period to hit $3bn.

"Digital has steadily increased its ability to captivate consumers and then capture the marketing dollars that follow," said Randall Rothenberg, IAB president and CEO. "Mobile advertising's breakneck growth is evidence that marketers are recognizing the tremendous power of smaller screens." 

Another significant figure in the new report is the 24% increase in digital video spending to $1.3bn. David Silverman, a partner at PwC US, said the report confirmed that brands were making a greater commitment to interactive, and highlighted that "mobile and digital video are being identified as integral elements of the marketing mix".

"Internet advertising's ability to impact and engage is evident across digital screens, whether big or small," Silverman said.

The new report also found that search revenues increased 7% to $8.7 billion and accounted for 43% of all advertising revenues, down from 48% in the first half of 2012.

Display-related advertising revenues rose 9% to $6.1bn and accounted for 30% of advertising revenues. Banner ads took the greatest share of this category, as spending here rose 4.34% to $3.78bn.

Other display advertising, beyond video and mobile, included rich media, up 29% to $640m, and sponsorship, which fell 15.6% to $351m.

In the other categories, classified sales grew at a steady 11.3% to $1.29bn, lead generation a more modest 2.3% to $853m while email revenues were unchanged on $78m.

The leading advertising verticals for the first half of 2013 were retail, which accounted for 20% of total digital advertising revenue, followed by financial services on 14% and automotive on 12%.

Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President of Research, Analytics and Measurement at the IAB, noted the speed at which the digital world was changing. "Consumers are embracing new screens, new content and transforming how they shop, communicate and consume content at an accelerated clip," she said.

"And, in response, marketers are turning to those same interactive arenas just as quickly," she added.

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff