UK digital ad spend passes £10bn per year

Digital ad spend in the UK has gone past a significant threshold, reaching £10.3bn in 2016, an increase of 17.3%. A report released by the Internet Advertising Bureau UK and PwC indicates it is the highest annual growth rate for nine years. The last time annual growth was higher was in 2007 (38pc).

Digital Ad Spend
Digital Ad Spend in 2016. Source:

Marketing budgets are increasingly moving to digital, driven by changing consumer behaviours. Advertisers can see that now almost half of all of UK internet time is now spent on smartphones.

There is also a rising trend of people consuming more and more mobile video – 2 in 5 of people interviewed say they watch more video clips on their phone than a year ago. 18 to 24 year olds lead this behaviour, with 75% using their devices to watch short clips versus 44% watching TV.

The IAB UK’s Chief Marketing Officer, James Chandler said: “The rise in people consuming mobile and video content has accelerated digital’s growth rate to its highest level for nearly a decade. It’s impossible to ignore the issues the industry is facing at the moment, but digital never stands still and these figures are testament to the long term strength and power of digital.”

Other key highlights from the report show:

  1. Paid-for search overall grew 15% to £4.99bn – a 48% share of digital ad spend
  2. Display ad spend rose 26% to £3.77bn
  3. Ad spend on social media sites grew 38% to £1.73bn, accounting for nearly half of display
  4. Social media spend on mobile grew 54%
  5. Content & Native ad spend increased 28% to £1.17bn

If you need help with your digital marketing strategy, get in touch.