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IAB adspend report: industry analysis

24 Apr 2019 
IAB adspend report: industry analysis

Adspend on smartphones has exceeded desktop for the first time and now accounts for 51% of total online spend, according to the latest IAB and PwC figures. Here, industry experts comment on the findings.

Jeremy Hine, London CEO, MullenLowe Group

Despite the debates around privacy and transparency in the industry, the key findings from this year’s IAB report show that digital advertising investment is still growing rapidly.

The IAB found that the total digital ad spend is 15 percent higher than last year and for the first time ever, spend on smartphones has overtaken desktop. This shows the continued confidence in the power of digital communications and that advertising spend is increasingly becoming representative of real consumer behaviour.

The dominance of smartphone advertising over desktop demonstrates that advertisers are more cognisant to what consumers are doing, and where they’re consuming media, making for a better ad ecosystem for all. I believe that this is a positive move for the industry as marketers are showing that they are creating strategies based on what they think is best for the consumer, rather than what they think is best for the client.

Creative communication agencies need to ensure that we prioritise building trust between ourselves and our clients by starting from a point of truth and doing what’s right for the brand – not suggesting ideas for their own sake.

Yves Schwarzbart, Advertising Industry Relations Manager, Google UK

We can see from these results that investment in digital advertising continues to return excellent results for advertisers and their brands. This is particularly positive to see in a period made uncertain by ongoing external factors such as Brexit.

What’s more, seeing mobile overtake desktop reflects that advertisers increasingly understand that people are mobile-first, and the industry should be too. Video is also showing its strength, driving the majority of growth in display advertising.

The industry as a whole is really starting to address the decline in trust in advertising. Advertisers are increasingly valuing media owners and tech partners who both emulate and encourage best practice in advertising, through measures such as certifying for the IAB UK Gold Standard. Hopefully this trend will continue and will help to build back public trust in media and advertising.

Kathryn Jacob OBE, CEO of Pearl & Dean

With the proliferation of mobile, it’s no surprise that advertisers are following with adspend. Video has no doubt been the stalwart in driving growth, proving that engaging visual content continues to be the key to helping brands to drive the best results and in capturing the attention of the consumers that matter.

Video has a long way to go to reach the effectiveness of traditional formats like cinema, but it will be interesting to see how the format develops over the next year or so. As always, context & content are key to attracting audiences and building long term brands.

Peter Cameron, Managing Director, Dam Digital

This latest IAB/ PwC report just underlines the central role digital plays in modern marketing strategies – so central companies from the smallest to the biggest simply can’t do without it.

The continued rise of smartphone access and video as central to digital strategies put into stark relief that digital is far from standing still, and consumer use of its many forms continues to evolve.

All of these facts place greater emphasis on digital partners who demonstrate an agile and responsive mindset to activating brand needs in the fast growing, ever-evolving online world.

Ruth Manielevitch, VP Global Business Development, Taptica

It is encouraging to see that digital advertising remains in a healthy position, with the latest figures from the IAB reporting a strong 15% year on year increase.

We have long predicted that video would be the rising star of the digital format, and today it is now driving the majority of growth in display. With video being such a versatile format, we can expect it to become even more popular over the next few years and we're excited to see how it evolves.

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20 Jan 2020 

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