Smartphones spur digital advertising spend

Advertisers spent a record £8.6billion on UK digital adverts last year as ownership of internet devices kept growing.

According to the latest Internet Advertising Bureau UK Digital Adspend report conducted by PwC the 16.4% year-on-year rise in spend was the highest since 2008 as the number of internet-enabled devices per household increased 12% in a year.

Connected TVs saw the biggest rise in ownership followed by smartphones, laptops and tablets.

The report found that mobile accounted for the vast majority, 78%, of digital ad spend growth, increasing 60.3% to £2.63billion.

Video ad spend grew 50.7% to £711million whilst video spend on mobile alone increased by 98% to £353million due to the increasing numbers of people watching video, TV and film on smartphones.

Content and native advertising spend, which includes advertorials and ads in social media news feeds increased by 49.9% to £776million.

Ad spend on social media sites grew 45% to £1.25billion, now accounting for 41% of all digital display advertising which excludes search and classified advertising.
Classifieds, including recruitment, property and automotive listings grew 5.2% to £1.11billion.

The report also found that consumer goods, such as food, toiletries and clothing, companies spent the most on banner and video ads followed by travel and transport and retailers.

“The increasing array of devices through which people go online has helped digital ad spend hit another gear as advertisers look to reach them and time spent online increases,” said Tim Elkington, chief strategy officer at the Internet Advertising Bureau. “Smartphones are the major driving force behind this. The increase in digital ad spend also benefits consumers as it pays for the wide range of free online services they increasingly rely on but don’t necessarily want to pay much for.”