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If you think you’re seeing more ads online, it could be because online ad spending is booming. According to a new report from consumer researcher Nielsen, Net advertising saw the biggest increase among all ad spending worldwide in the first quarter, with a 12.1 percent increase compared to a year ago at the same time.

The report, called the Global Adview Pulse, also found increases in all other media, except magazines. Radio was second with a 7.9 percent increase, followed by outdoor advertising with 6.4 percent, ads in cinemas at 4.1 percent, newspapers at 3.1 percent, and 2.8 percent for TV. Magazines dropped 1.4 percent in ad spending.

TV Is Still King

Globally, advertising was up 3.1 percent in the first quarter year-over-year to US$ 128 billion, following a strong finish last year. Although spending in January was up only slightly from the previous year at the same time, by March the spending had accelerated to 4.5 percent year-over-year.

Advertising spending in emerging markets is increasing faster than in the worldwide market, such as a 23.3 percent increase in the Middle East and Africa. Egypt, for instance, had a 67 percent growth as it began to regain some degree of normalcy after the political uprisings. The Asia Pacific market in particular saw a bit of a cooling down in first quarter, because of a spending decline in the Chinese market.

Ad budgets in North America grew by 2.1 percent, and recession-hit Europe dropped 1.4 percent -- the only region to see a decline.

Print Demise -- Where?

In terms of total dollars spent, TV is still king with the most spending. The growth in TV market ad spend, like the growth in overall spending, was region-dependent. In the emerging markets of the Middle and Africa, for instance, TV soared 33.8 percent, while it grew only 4 percent in North America.

The evolution of print advertising is also heavily region-dependent, meaning that any predictions about the demise of print might best specify a location. Magazine ad spending actually increased by 7.6 percent in Latin America, for instance, but dropped by 5 percent in the U.S. Newspapers showed a similar difference, increasing by 10.3 percent in Latin America and dropping by 2.1 percent in the U.S.

However, the growth in online advertising was consistently strong around the planet. The Middle East and Africa again led, with 35.2 percent, followed by Latin America at 31.8 percent and Europe at 12.1 percent. Radio also saw growth in every region.