UK digital adspend surpasses £10bn

12 Apr 2017  |  Ellen Hammett 
UK digital adspend surpasses £10bn

Digital adspend in the UK grew by 17.3% in 2016 to £10.3 billion - its fastest rate in nine years - according to the latest figures from the IAB UK and PwC.

Mobile continues to play an integral part in the growth, with adspend rising 50.8% to £3.87 billion and accounting for 38% of all digital adspend - up from 4% just five years ago.

Spend on mobile video ads more than doubled (up 103%) to £693 million, making it the fastest growing ad format. It now accounts for 29% of the total growth in digital adspend.

Video (across both PC and mobile) grew 56%, driven by a 234% rise in oustream/social in-feeds. Pre- and post-roll video adspend grew 12% to £603 million.

Meanwhile, display adspend increased by 26% year-on-year to £3.77 billion - 72% of which was traded programmatically (£2.71 billion) - with significant growth coming from direct deals and private marketplaces.

Adspend on social media sites grew 38% to £1.73 billion, accounting for 46% of display, while social media spend on mobile alone grew 54%.

"The rise in people consuming mobile and video content has accelerated digital’s growth rate to its highest level for nearly a decade,” said the IAB UK’s chief marketing officer, James Chandler.

“Reaching the £10 billion threshold has been made possible by brands breaking the mould, trying innovative formats and making the most of video to reach and amaze people.

"It’s impossible to ignore the issues the industry is facing at the moment, but digital never stands still and these figures are testament to the long term strength and power of digital.”

However, Mark Jackson, managing director at MC&C, said marketers should be wary of over-investing in digital.

“It is important that advertisers match the media consumption patterns of consumers, and with 48% of UK internet time now spent on smartphones there's no doubt brands will continue to invest in mobile advertising," Jackson said.

"However from a performance perspective, marketers should be wary of over investing in digital and reaching the point of diminishing returns as a result. True performance media focuses on integrating online and offline channels as part of a wider strategy, and reaping the rewards of the cross-channel media effect.”

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