LONDON: Online accounted for 19.5% of global advertising expenditure last year, a figure that will rise to over 21% this year, a new report has argued.

This Year, Next Year: Interaction 2013, a study from GroupM, the media investment arm of WPP, stated that digital advertising reached $99bn worldwide in 2012, a 16.2% increase on an annual basis. This figure is predicted to grow by 14.6% in 2013, reaching $113.5bn.

North America was the leading digital ad market in 2012, worth $38.3bn, followed by Asia Pacific on $30.6bn and Western Europe on $24.1bn.

This year, North America should remain the most valuable region on $42.8bn, with Asia Pacific on $36.8bn and Western Europe on $26.6bn. 

More specifically, the US accounts for over 90% of digital advertising spend in North America, delivering $35.4bn in 2012 and a forecast $39.7bn in 2013.

The US market is growing at 10-12% a year, and in 2013 is expected to account for over a quarter (25.4%) of new media advertising expenditure.

A key factor driving the growth of digital adspend is the increasing amount of media time consumers spend online, and GroupM expects this figure to reach 30% of the total during 2013.

Ecommerce is an important influence in digital adspend, according to the report, as it generates an estimated 40% of online paid media ad investment.

Spending patterns have changed, but still have further to go, GroupM added, as print accounts for 14% of the time consumers dedicate to media each day, but still attracts about 24% of investment.

Data sourced from GroupM; additional content by Warc staff