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Digital to account for 50% of UK adspend in 2015

18 Feb 2015  |  Ellen Hammett 
Digital to account for 50% of UK adspend in 2015

Half of UK advertising spend in 2015 will go on the internet and mobile devices, according to the latest advertising forecast from Strategy Analytics.

Nearly £8 billion is expected to be spent on digital advertising in 2015 - over twice that spent on TV (£3.8 billion, 24% share). Print is forecast to follow at £2.5 billion (16%), while outdoor (£910 million), radio (£492 million) and cinema (£179 million) will account for the remaining 10%.

By 2018, digital's share in the UK will be two and a half times that of TV - 56% and 23%, respectively.

Digital ad growth will be driven largely by mobile (23%), social media and video (both 18%); however, search is expected to account for half of digital ad revenues in 2015.

Online and mobile adspend is forecast to grow 9.5% in 2015, compared to 1.6% for traditional advertising. UK adspend, overall, is predicted to grow 5.4% to £15.8 billion.

After digital, cinema is the fastest growing ad format, then TV (up 3%). Outdoor will grow 1.1% and radio 0.3%.

Print is the only ad format forecast to decline in revenue; however, it is simultaneously the only format whose 2015 growth rate, down -0.2%, is an improvement on 2014, when it was down -1.7%. For all other formats, growth rates in 2015 are lower than in 2014.

"Digital crossing the 50% share threshold is a seminal moment in the history of the ad industry, particularly factoring in its dominance in the UK compared to globally," said Michael Goodman, co-author of the report.

"Digital accounts for a third of ad spend in Western Europe, 30% globally and just over a quarter in the US - where TV still rules the roost."

However, Goodman said that TV's declining share is less about adspend flowing out of TV and more about it flowing into digital from print and radio, thus broadcasters such as ITV, Channel 4 and Sky will see little, if any, real revenue declines - "just a shift in the source from linear TV ads to online video," he said.

Leika Kawasaki, co-author of the report, said that the results are encouraging for print in the UK, compared to the US where an -8% decline is forecast.

"However, outdoor (about five times less) and radio will experience much slower growth in the UK than globally," Kawasaki added.

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