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Digital Ad Spend IAB Technology

UK digital ad spend increases to £7.3bn despite economic uncertainty


By Stephen Lepitak, -

October 15, 2019 | 3 min read

UK digital ad spend grew by over £7bn ​during the first half of 2019, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB UK).


UK digital advertising spend increases to £7.3bn despite economic uncertainty

Online investment grew by 13% to reach $7.3bn in the first six months of the year, with analysis undertaken by the IAB and PWC finding that display and search got the largest bump, noting an increase of 27% and 13% respectively.

Over the same time period, £3.7bn was spent on search ads, while display (which included video and non-video) was £2.8bn.

The largest display format growth was reported to be from non-video display which was up by 8% year on year to £1.45bn. Video formats, however, increased by 27% to £1.32bn.

According to the IAB’s chief digital officer, Tim Elkington, the results showed there a “continued confidence” in digital advertising spend despite political and economic uncertainty in the UK surrounding Brexit.

“It’s clear from the results that advertisers are increasingly harnessing the immersive storytelling opportunities of digital video to engage people – a trend we see continued from our 2018 adspend study released earlier in the year, he said.

Upon seeing the figures, Anna Forbes, UK general manager for The Trade Desk claimed that the growth in digital spend was down to progress being made in the advertising sector to focus on digital channels.

“Most notable is the sizeable growth of video, which contributed well over £1bn in the first six months of the year,” she explained.

“Advertisers have long known that video is a powerful format to reach consumers – but, thanks to the injection of programmatic technology, the power of video as a channel has grown exponentially.

"What’s more, this is just the beginning – the contribution of video will likely continue to skyrocket as more and more cconnected TV streaming services enter the UK market. And with UK consumers creeping ever closer to subscription fee saturation, advertising will be a key asset in unlocking new revenue for many streaming companies, further boosting an already flourishing sector of UK ad spend."

Digital Ad Spend IAB Technology

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