GLOBAL: Global mobile adspend increased an impressive 60.5% to €63bn ($83bn) in 2016, up from €39bn ($52bn) in 2015, according to the latest figures from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Europe.

Brussels-based IAB Europe, along with its partners the IAB and IHS Markit, said the rapid growth was "driven by a mobile first consumer world and improving market technologies".

In terms of regional share for mobile adspend in 2016, North America was both the largest market as well as the region that witnessed the fastest rate of growth.

North America took almost half (46%) of all global mobile adspend after recording 73% growth to take its total to €29bn ($38bn).

Asia-Pacific was the next largest market, with a third (33%) of all worldwide spend, although its growth rate of 52% was slightly lower than that of Latin America (57%).

Mobile adspend in Asia-Pacific reached €21bn ($27bn) last year, close to double what was spent in Europe (€12bn / $16bn), which secured about a fifth (19%) of mobile budgets. However, Europe also registered strong growth of 48% in 2016.

Middle East and Africa, with growth of 46% last year, attracted 0.8% of global mobile adspend (€0.5bn / $0.7bn), while Latin America took 0.7% (€0.4bn / $0.5bn).

According to the report, mobile display continued to drive investment with the highest rate of growth (64.3%), although mobile search was slightly behind (61.1%).

However, messaging spend grew by just 11.2%, as users continued to migrate from operator-owned messaging services to app-based messaging platforms. Messaging's share of global mobile adspend also declined to 3.1% (€1.9bn / $2.6bn).

Over the same period, display increased its share to 54% of all mobile spend globally at €34bn ($45bn), while search took a 42.8% share worth €27bn ($36bn).

"The latest global mobile advertising revenue numbers confirm that we are now in a mobile-first media consumption and advertising environment," said Townsend Feehan, CEO of IAB Europe.

"Mobile continues to be at the forefront of digital advertising growth in Europe highlighting it as a priority for advertisers, agencies and publishers," she added.

"These global figures reflect brands' recognition that mobile is critical in reaching today's consumers around the world," said Anna Bager, IAB's SVP and General Manager, Mobile and Video.

"We've experienced skyrocketing growth for mobile advertising in the US – with mobile capturing the majority of internet ad revenues for the very first time in 2016. With mobile taking this landmark lead in digital revenues in America, it is unsurprising to see an upward trajectory the world over."

Data sourced from IAB Europe, IAB, IHS Markit; additional content by WARC staff