The figure for 2011 also accounts for over 17 per cent of all global measured advertising expenditures, according to a new report from global media investment management operation, GroupM.
North America led with an estimated overall digital ad spend of $34.5 billion; Asia-Pacific came in second with $24.8 billion, followed by Western Europe with $21 billion.
The study also predicted that this year, digital advertising spend will reach $98.2 billion globally. The figure represents almost 19 per cent of all measured advertising investment.
In the 2012 forecast, North America once again ranks first with an estimated $38 billion in digital ad spend; Asia-Pacific follows with $31.4 billion followed by Western Europe with $23 billion.
GroupM Interaction Global CEO, Rob Norman, commented: "At the risk of an ‘oh really?’ response, it’s possible to argue that for the first time since these reports began that the last year has been one of evolution rather than revolution.
"It seems that less is brand new and that a combination of scale of usage of an increasingly social and mobile web, the penetration of devices supported by it, and the continued atomisation of audiences and content, in both their creation and distribution combine to tell the story of the year."