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Mobile video ad spend triples to £64m as display advertising hits £3.5bn in UK for first half of year, says IAB/PwC Digital Adspend report


By Jessica Davies, News Editor

October 7, 2014 | 3 min read

Mobile video ad spend has spiked 196 per cent year-on-year to reach £64m in the UK making it the fastest growing digital ad format, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Pricewater Cooper’s latest UK Digital Adspend report.

Total digital ad spend rose 16.6 per cent to £3.5bn in the first half of 2014, driven largely by the UK public’s increasing demand for video content on computers, tablets and smartphones.

Online and mobile video advertising saw a combined 59 per cent year-on-year hike to £202m in the first half of 2014, with mobile video advertising along growing 196 per cent.

Meanwhile overall mobile ad spend including display soared 68 per cent taking the total to £701.1m in the first half of 2014, accounting for one fifth of all digital advertising.

Mobile accounted for 20 per cent of all digital advertising spend – up from 14 per cent in the first half of 2013. Smartphones made up more than three quarters (76 per cent) of handsets.

PwC manager Dan Bunyan said the rise of 4G would lead to video playing an even bigger role in future. “Mobile’s share of the digital ad pie has tripled in two years, accounting for a fifth of total spend – rising to nearly a third of display and over half of social media ads.

“As 4G becomes more prevalent and phone screens become larger, it will play an even bigger role in driving digital ad spend – particularly video,” he predicted.

Native ad formats, which included paid-for sponsorships, ad features and in-feed distribution, reached £216m, accounting for 21 per cent of digital display advertising.

Meanwhile social media ad spend soared 73 per cent to £396m – over half of which (53 per cent) was allocated to mobile taking the total mobile social spend to £209.7m.

Tablet-dedicated advertising also saw a hefty 160 per cent spike to reach £29m – up from £10.5m year on year.

Display advertising as a whole across online and mobile shot up by 30.1 per cent to £1.02bn in the first half, boosted by video and social media.

Mobile display grew 116 per cent year on year taking the total to £315.7m, meaning mobile now accounted for 31 per cent of total digital display advertising.

Paid-for search marketing increased 11.3 per cent to £1.92bn in the first half of 2014, while

Classifieds including recruitment, property and automotive listings, grew 14.4 per cent to £493.5m, accounting for 14 per cent of digital ad spend.

Meanwhile the FMCG sector spent the most on digital display advertising, accounting for a 16 per cent share in the first half of the year. There were also the biggest spenders on mobile display ads, accounting for a 23 per cent share.

Transport was next at a 15 per cent share of spend while finance advertisers were at 13 per cent.

In April the IAB and PwC reported that UK digital ad spend had surged 12.5 per cent like-for-like to hit a record £5.42bn in 2012, with mobile accounting for 10 per cent of spend.


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