SYDNEY: Mobile advertising expenditure in Australia more than doubled during 2014, according to new figures from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

The trade body's Online Advertising Expenditure Report for the quarter ending 31 December 2014, compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers, showed that mobile was by far the fastest growing category as it grew 118% to reach a total of A$762m, or around 17% of all online advertising.

Overall expenditure for the calendar year across all categories reached A$4.6bn, a 16% increase on 2013, although fourth quarter spending was slower, up 7.1% year-on-year to A$1.2bn.

Video also emerged as a category that was starting to take off, increasing 52% over the year to reach A$237m.

But with a value of A$2.3bn, search and directories remained the single biggest category, accounting for half the total expenditure. Its annual rate of growth, however, slowed to 8%, half that of the overall industry.

General display took almost one third (30%) of online advertising expenditure. At $1.4bn, this was a 25% rise on 2013.

There was a similar rise in Classifieds, the final category, where spending amounted to A$0.9bn. This performance was, the IAB noted, better than the global average.

"While we are delighted about the sustained and robust growth of online advertising, we are most pleased that the proportion of expenditure in specific categories is aligning to category shares in the advertising market as a whole," said Alice Manners, CEO of IAB Australia.

"This signifies that advertisers are seeing digital categories as being a comparable investment to their traditional counterparts."

Retail took a 10.9% share of the total display market in the fourth quarter, its biggest share ever and bringing it in line with the retail category's 9.9% share of the total advertising market, AdNews reported.

The finance and computers and communications categories were also becoming more closely aligned with general market advertising spend.

Data sourced from IAB Australia, Ad News; additional content by Warc staff