Online advertising revenues have surpassed those of newspapers in Canada and are expected to grow further in the coming years, according to a study published Tuesday.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada (IAB) said online ad revenues exceeded expectations to rise by 23 percent to Can$2.23 billion ($2.32 billion) in 2010, making them second only to television in terms of media ad revenue.

IAB President Paula Gignac called the rise a “watershed moment for the digital community in Canada,” adding that the future looks “extremely positive” considering the rise of mobile and interactive advertising.

Advertising revenues for print media grew a mere four percent to reach Can$2.1 billion in 2010, while television revenues grew 9

percent to reach Can$3.4 billion, according to the report.

Search advertising continues to lead, accounting for Can$907 million, or 41 percent, of online revenue, followed by display advertising - such as banners and ads on websites (31 percent) - and interactive ads (26 percent), according to the report, which cited figures from a major industry group.

Online video advertising grew by 85 percent from 2009 to 2010, while email advertising declined, but both account for a small percentage of overall digital ad revenues, the study said.

In Canada, the Internet accounts for 15.9 percent of all media advertising revenue, a higher percentage than in the United States (15.4 percent) or France (15.6 percent) but lower than Britain, Germany and Scandinavian countries, where it accounts for 28.7 percent. - Sapa-AFP