Britain’s appetite for online video has driven digital ad spend up to a six-month high, the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has announced.

Brands looking to capitalise on the lure of video content streamed on desktop computers and mobile devices fuelled a 16.6% rise in UK digital ad spend year on year, compared to figures in the first half of 2013. 

Video advertising budgets increased 59% in the first six months of 2014 compared to the same period last year as a staggering £202 million flooded into one of the fastest-growing ad channels.

Conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the study also attributed the overall lift in ad spend to increased activity on social media and mobile display, while traditional display and search also saw healthy rises. 

Display retains ad crown

Results provided by the organisation indicated that mobile video advertising is currently the fastest-growing digital ad format courtesy of a 196% rise in spend year on year. This is however coming off a relatively low base point, and the annual total of £63.9 million is lower than on many other channels.

Traditional display, for example, while being one of the oldest online formats around, still raised £315.7 million over the year following a 30% rise. It therefore retains its status as the biggest contributor to overall digital ad spend.

Several fast-growing channels may well have the momentum to change this, though. Social media advertising is looking one of the more likely to overtake traditional display after growing 73% to reach £209.7 million for the year. 

Mobile display is showing signs it could become an even bigger player in the future, too. The results show its own spend rising 116% year on year, behind overall spend on tablet with 160%.

For more information on the growth of digital ad formats between the H1 2013 – H1 2014, here are the IAB/PwC results in full.