LONDON: The internet is the fastest growing advertising medium in the UK and set to grab more adspend than the national press by the end of this year, claims a new report.

The Internet Advertising Bureau's first half figures show online adspend was up 40.3% over the same period last year at £917.2 million ($1.72bn; £1.36bn).

The data, compiled by accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers and WARC, reveals the internet commanded a 10.5% share of the UK ad market during the same period, up from 7.3% in 2005.

This takes online advertising to within one percentage point of the national press, which recorded a 1.4% share for H1, says the report.

By comparison, the internet is now double the size of outdoor and magazines and three times the size of radio advertising. It is half the size of the TV ad market, which recorded a 22.7% market share following a decline of 1.3% on H1 numbers in 2005.

Paid-for search - sponsored listings for which advertisers pay when a consumer clicks through to their site - was up 57.7% year on year to £531.3m; a 57.9% share of the online total.

Display ads, including banners and embedded formats, climbed 33.2% to £215.9m and notched a 23.5% share of all online adspend, making it the fastest growing display medium.

The biggest online expenditure sources come from the recruitment and finance sectors, with automotive and entertainment and media close behind.

The report says the key drivers for growth this year are the continued expansion of broadband in the UK, the increased amount of time users spend online, and online retailing innovation.

Data sourced from IAB UK; additional content by WARC staff