Digital advertising surged 22 percent in 2011 to $31B

Driven by strong growth in the search and display sectors, U.S. digital advertising revenue expanded by 22 percent in 2011, reaching a record $31 billion according to a report prepared by Price Waterhouse Coopers U.S. and released Wednesday by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

The $9 billion grossed in the fourth quarter alone represented a 15 percent uptick over the third quarter and a 20 percent year-over-year expansion.

Reporting 27 percent growth in search revenue to $14.8 billion and 35 percent expansion of display-related ads to $11.1 billion, IAB’s data jibes with a report issued in January by eMarkter, which tallied U.S. digital advertising at around $32 billion.

Then again, IAB’s outlook is a bit divergent from a report released in March by Kantar Media, which said fourth-quarter declines in the internet search and display sectors last year drove down the performance of the entire U.S. advertising market.

In any event, here are some other highlights from the PwC U.S./IAB report:

— While still a small part of the overall pie, mobile advertising spiked 149 percent last year to $1.6 billion.

— Digital video, a component of display-related advertising, grew 29 percent to $1.8 billion.

— Retail advertising grew 21 percent to $7.1 billion.