Media Planning and Buying IAB Media

Digital ad spend in Europe grew by 9.8% in 2022, marketers react


By Hannah Bowler, Senior Reporter

June 8, 2023 | 4 min read

Digital ad spend in Europe increased by 9.8% in 2022 and is now worth €86bn, according to the IAB Europe AdEx Benchmark study. The Drum quizzes European digital marketers on the growth.

IAB Europe AdEx Benchmark study reveals digital ad spend

IAB Europe AdEx Benchmark study digital ad spend / Pexels

Despite an economic downturn and the war in Ukraine, €7.7bn was added to the digital advertising market total in 2022. For the year ahead while ad demand was weak in the first quarter this is expected to pick up in the second half of the year. Overall digital ad spend in Europe in 2023 is forecasted to be up 4.8% and taking its valuation to €90.1bn.

Connected TV spend increased exponentially in 2022 up 46.6% and investment in audio got a 22.1% boost to €0.7bn. Meanwhile, display grew by 9.5% to €40.1bn with search experiencing a 10.7% increase to €37.4bn.

The report was unveiled at the IAB Europe’s annual Interact conference held in Madrid. Commenting on the report findings was Daniel Godoy, global head of programmatic evangelist at Microsoft who said that one of the main drivers of the positive growth in digital ad spend is the increasing use of internet and mobile devices by consumers. “This trend has led to the rise of new and effective digital channels and formats, such as CTV, retail media, and search,” Godoy says.

Adland reacts

GroupM Italy’s chief digital officer Giovanna Loi said: “From a media agency perspective, we see that the industry is adapting to the changes in consumer behavior and technological advancements. Advertisers are investing in data-driven strategies, leveraging user insights and advanced analytics to optimize their campaigns.”

Retail media emerged from the IAB report as one of the fastest-growing areas of digital marketing in 2023. The sector has exploded in the past few years and is currently worth around $100bn in global revenue and on track to account for 25% of all digital ad spend by 2026.

Tim Abraham, who is senior data partnerships at The Trade Desk, weighed on the hype. “The funny thing about retail media is that there isn’t actually an agreed definition, and then beyond that, the biggest challenge we see is how you make retailers feel comfortable with the idea of providing access to data,” he said.

Loi said that growth in retail media presented new opportunities for brands to engage with consumers in a contextually relevant manner. “Advertisers should consider incorporating retail media into their digital advertising strategies to capitalize on this changing landscape,” she urged.

Elsewhere, Godoy added that native advertising is one of the big opportunities for advertisers in the year ahead. “Native advertising blends perfectly well with the content and context of the website or app where it appears, creating a seamless and natural user experience. Native advertising can help to capture the attention of users who may otherwise ignore or skip traditional ads, while also benefiting from the reach and quality of Microsoft advertising network,” he said.

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