Advertisers spent a record £3.98 billion on digital advertising in the first half of 2015 – up 13.4%¹ year-on-year – according to the latest Internet Advertising Bureau UK Digital Adspend report, conducted by PwC.
Display advertising revenues grew at more than twice the overall digital rate (27.5%) to hit £1.31 billion – 33% of total digital ad spend, its largest-ever share. Within display, video ad spend grew 56% to £292 million – accounting for 22% of display revenue. Social media spend rose 51% to £574 million while native/content² grew 50% to £325 million – accounting for 25% of display revenue. Tablet-dedicated³ ad spend grew 115% to £68 million.
Mobile ad spend up 51%; accounts for nearly 80% of the rise in digital ad revenues
Ad spend on mobiles increased 51% to £1.08 billion in the first half of 2015. The actual increase of £370 million year-on-year accounts for 79% of the rise in digital ad revenues.
Over a quarter (27%) of all digital advertising spend now comes from mobile, compared to 20% a year earlier. Mobile accounts for 39% of display spend, 43% of video spend, 63% of social media spend and 74% of native/content ad spend.
“Mobile is unquestionably the engine of digital growth, with mobile display spend up 63% on the back of mobile video spend more than doubling,” says Dan Bunyan, Senior Manager at PwC. “However, there’s plenty of room to grow, as mobile accounts for 40% of internet time⁴ but only 27% of ad spend. Marketers are realising this is out-of-kilter, hence mobile is likely to continue gaining share at pace.”
Travel/transport overtakes consumer goods as biggest display advertiser
The biggest spending sector on display ads in the first half of 2015 was travel/transport (16.8% share) – overtaking consumer goods (16.1%). Finance was third (13.4%), just ahead of retail (13.3%).
Paid-for search marketing increased 8.4% to £2.07 billion in the first half of 2015. Classifieds including recruitment, property and automotive listings, grew 6.6% to £547 million – accounting for 14% of digital ad spend.
¹All growth rates except video and social media advertising are a like-for-like basis, i.e. only companies that submitted in H1 2014 and H1 2015 have been included in year-on-year growth calculations.
²Content marketing = paid for sponsorship, advertisement features, in-feed & native distribution tools.
³Tablet-specific advertising only (i.e. not including internet advertising displayed on a tablet by default).
⁴IAB/UKOM/comScore: Digital Time Spent Study (H1 2015)"
Source: Press release from the IAB (UK), 7th October 2015