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Internet ad spend up 32% as old media takes a hit

Spending on internet advertising saw the fastest rise among marketing platforms last year, according to new research, as traditional media continued to suffer a decline.

Display internet adverts – such as web banners - were up 32 percent in the first three quarters of 2013 compared to the same period last year, research by Nielsen found.

Outdoor advertising was the next big grower, up 5.1 percent year on year, while television ad spending rose by 4.3 percent and continued to dominate the sector with over half (57.6 percent) of the global market share of all ad spending.

Mark Avellino | Lonely Planet Images | Getty Images

"While it comes as no surprise that Internet is the most rapidly growing media type for advertisers, television is still the leading medium by spend by a long shot," Randall Beard, global head of advertiser solutions at Nielsen, said in a press release.

"But the really exciting development is how the two can work together. We are consistently seeing advertisers turn to integrated campaigns to connect with consumers on multiple screens, reinforcing their messages strategically to maximize impact."

(Read more: Facebook to roll out video advertising in test)

Multi-screen campaigns - defined as ads that run across two or more screens (such as TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones) at the same time – are expected to make up 50 percent of ad budgets in the next three years, according to Nielsen, from the current 20 percent.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, traditional media advertisements took a hit. Ad spending on newspapers declined 2.2 percent year-on-year over the first three quarters of 2013, while cinema, magazines and radio also saw a fall, according to Nielsen's quarterly Global AdView Pulse report.

Confidence boost?

Despite this, total global ad spending rose 3.2 percent over the period as business and consumer confidence received a boost from the improving global economic picture.

"A lot of that is being driven by increased consumer confidence and increased business confidence," Ian Maude, an online media analyst at Enders Analysis, told CNBC in a phone interview.

(Read more: 2014—The age of media/tech convergence)

"We have seen most of the major advertising companies raise their spending forecasts. I think a lot of what we are seeing is really cyclical, the economy is picking up, companies are really looking to increase their marketing spend accordingly."

The Asia Pacific advertising powerhouse expanded further, Nielsen found, posting 7 percent growth in the first three quarters of 2013 compared with the same time the year before. While North America saw a tepid 1.7 percent increase in ad spend, Europe remained the laggard with a 3.8 percent decline.

—By CNBC's Arjun Kharpal: Follow him on Twitter @ArjunKharpal

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