UK digital ad spend hits


Tablet-dedicated ad spend up whopping 400%

With one in four British consumers now an owner of a tablet, advertisers spent a record £6.3 billion in 2013 to reach people surfing the internet across an increasing array of devices.

Advertising on the internet and mobile phones overall increased by 15.2% or £853 million, to £6.30 billion in 2013, up from £5.45 billion in 2012, according to the latest Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) Digital Adspend report, conducted by PwC.

Among media owners who submitted revenue figures to the IAB, tablet-dedicated advertising has grown over 400% to reach at least £34.4 million in 2013, up from £6.8 million in 2012.

With smartphones now accounting for 76% of handsets according to ComScore, advertisers are continuing to invest more in mobile advertising. Advertising grew by 93% to £1.03 billion in 2013, from £529 million in 2012, the IAB figures showed.

The IAB study also noted that mobile now accounts for 16% of all digital advertising spend, equating to £1 in every £6, compared to 10% in 2012.

Meanwhile, the IAB stated that social media advertising spend on mobile increased to £221.8 million in 2013. Across digital overall, social media advertising grew 71% to £588.4 million. Consequently, mobile now accounts for over one third (35%) of total digital social media advertising.

'Digital advertising continues to grow at impressive rates simply because marketers are becoming more responsive and savvy to the increasing ways people consume content across different devices,' said Tim Elkington, director of research and strategy at the IAB.

'However, there's still a lot of work for the industry to do when it comes to tablet advertising,' added Elkington. 'Spend on ads designed specifically for tablets is growing fast but it's still a very small part of the pie, despite the increase in tablet ownership, and the crucial role they play in people's internet use at home. The tablet has moved from the offices of early adopters to the nation's living rooms and advertisers should be following suit.'

The IAB study also showed that video advertising grew by 62% year on year to £324.9 million. Video now accounts for 18% of all online and mobile display advertising. Driven by mobile display and video, the consumer goods sector continued its dominance as the biggest spender on digital display advertising, overall, accounting for 18% in 2013 compared to 16% in 2012.

Boosted by video and social media, display advertising across the internet and mobile grew above the overall (15%) digital rate at 22% on a like-for-like basis to £1.86 billion.

Dan Bunyan, manager at PwC, commented: 'Mobile's huge rise is down to advertisers taking advantage of key developments in the way people use their mobile devices – particularly social media platforms. Mobile is now more of a storytelling tool for advertisers rather than just an information device. Almost half of mobile ad spend is accounted for by TVs biggest advertiser categories – consumer goods and entertainment brands – which is testament to how important mobile has become for brands.'

Due to the proliferation of new devices, two thirds of people online now access the internet using a PC or laptop and one other device, such as a smartphone or tablet. Over one third (36%) of people accessing the internet are now doing so via tablets, showed research from UKOM/comScore, as tablet ownership grew 63% year on year from 11.0 million to 17.9 million Britons in February 2014.

Almost six in 10 (57%) device owners online say their tablet is their 'go-to' device to surf the internet at home, according to a YouGov study. The YouGov research showed that two thirds of owners (66%) say it is easier to go online using a tablet. Also, almost two thirds (65%) like to a tablet while watching TV.


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