Mobile adspend rises in UK

21 March 2012

LONDON: Mobile advertising expenditure more than doubled in the UK last year, a process driven by the rising uptake of smartphones and tablets, according to a new report.

The IAB, the trade body, reported that spending through this channel rose by 157% to £203.2m in 2011, having allied with PricewaterhouseCoopers, the business services firm, to track such activity.

Within the overall figure, mobile search revenues expanded by 145% on an annual basis to £134.3m, equivalent to 66% of the total.

Display logged a 186% uptick to £68.9m, a 34% share. Standard formats like text links and banners saw a 196% lift to £59.4m, SMS and MMS surged by 241% to £2.5m, and video grew by 400% to £0.8m.

Applications were responsible for 54% of display advertising, measured against the 46% attributable to browser inventory. The fact smartphone ownership now stands at 53% has fuelled this trend.

Entertainment and media contributed 23.2% of all display sales in 2011, versus 32.9% in 2010. These amounts hit 14.9% and 14.3% in turn for telecoms, and reached 14.4% for FMCG, up from 11.8%.

Retailers registered an improvement from 5.5% to 12.3% on the same metric, but finance recorded an 18.6% decline to 10.3%.

Tablets also delivered £2.4m in revenues last year. Estimates from comScore, the insights provider, suggest 4.1m Britons currently own one of these appliances, with uptake set to rise going forward.

More broadly, previous research from the IAB found 35% of UK smartphone subscribers watch television when using their mobile handset, coming in at 51% for combining slate and PC usage.

The organisation also revealed 90% of ad agencies anticipate that mobile will be the fastest growing media channel in the next five years, and 98% are already allocating resources to this medium.

Elsewhere, the IAB discovered 24% of mobile phone users have bought goods and services in this way, while 38% of the smartphone audience had utilised these gadgets in stores.

Turning to advertising, IAB data showed that 27% of consumers are "more likely" to interact with ads on a touchscreen device.

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff