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Facebook, Google and Netflix drive record £5bn TV ad spend

Spend on TV advertising topped £5m for the first time in 2015 driven in part by online brands like Netflix, Facebook and Google which ploughed more than £500m into getting on TV screens last year, a study has found.

According to Thinkbox, revenue in the UK totalled £5.27bn in 2015, up 7.4 per cent on 2014, making it the sixth consecutive year that TV advertising revenue has grown in the UK. The figure also includes spend going on linear spot and sponsorship, Broadcaster VOD, and product placement.

While more established TV advertisers – particularly in the motor, finance and FMCG categories – collectively upped their investment by an average 16 per cent it was the shift of digital brands taking to TV that made a marked difference on the broadcasters’ bottom lines.

Based on data from Nielsen, Google, Facebook and Netflix spent over 60 per cent of their marketing budgets on TV advertising, helping to fuel an overall increase of 14 per cent increase from 2014 in online brands spending on TV.

Facebook, which was the year’s biggest new TV advertiser, invested £10.8m in getting onto screens with the ‘Our Friends’ campaign.

Gaming company, and fellow newcomer to the rankings, Machine Zone spent £6.6m while online estate agent network Agents Mutual funnelled £5.9m through the channel.

Lindsey Clay, chief executive of Thinkbox added: “No other form of advertising is as trusted. Advertisers of all sizes, from global technology companies to local businesses, know this and have voted with their investment.

“Online businesses in particular recognise the impact TV advertising has and have significantly increased their investment recently. This is something we expect to continue in 2016.”

According to the Advertising Association (AA), TV grew faster than the total UK advertising market at 7.4 per cent compared to 6.1 per cent respectively in 2015. Based on the AA’s forecast, TV held more than a quarter (26.9 per cent) of the total UK ad market last year.

Jennifer Faull

The Drum senior reporter Jen Faull provides news and insight on the latest developments in retail and FMCG.

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