Investment in internet advertising looks set to leapfrog traditional TV advertising for the first time in 2017, new figures have revealed.

According to a report by Zenith Media, brands across the globe look set to spend $205 billion (£165 billion) on online advertising this year.

This is 13 per cent up on the amount recorded in 2016 and means this channel will account for more than a third of overall advertising expenditure.

Interestingly, the surge in internet advertising is being fuelled largely by brands continuing to embrace social media.

In fact, investment in this particular approach went up by 51 per cent last year, while the annual average growth rate is set to be around the 20 per cent mark for the next two years.

This means that by 2019, investment in social media advertising will exceed the amount currently spent on advertising in print newspapers.

Vittorio Bonori, Global Brand President at Zenith, commented: “Internet advertising has contributed all of the growth in global ad spend since the beginning of the decade and has stimulated much of the innovation we’ve seen in the market.

“Innovation is proceeding as fast as ever, and we believe that this is what will continue to drive brand growth for advertisers.”

However, the figures did indicate that the rate of growth in internet advertising spending is slowing down, perhaps reflecting the maturation of this particular market.

Whereas the rate of growth is estimated at 13 per cent in 2017, the increase is expected to be around 12 per cent in 2018 and ten per cent in the following year.

This is considerably higher than the predicted rate of growth in the overall advertising market across the globe.

The market is tipped to see 4.4 per cent growth in 2017, followed by 4.4 per cent in 4.2 per cent in 2018 and 2019 respectively.