UK online adspend rises

05 October 2011

LONDON: Internet adspend continues to rise in the UK, aided by several complementary trends observable among consumers and brand owners.

According to figures from the IAB, the trade body, and PricewaterhouseCoopers, the business services firm, web ad revenues climbed by 13.5% in the first half of this year, to £2.3bn.

Paid search enjoyed a 12.6% surge, hitting £1.3bn, or a 58% share, not least thanks to the "measurable benefits" linked to demonstrating effectiveness.

Display expanded by 18.5% on an annual basis, reaching £510m, boosted by 100% growth for online video, to £45m, alongside increasing numbers of brand campaigns and social media exposures.

Banners and embedded ads yielded £374m of display returns, and thus remained the dominant source of category income, despite the advent of numerous new formats.

Advertisers in the financial services sector delivered 16% of display expenditure, ahead of FMCG manufacturers on 15% - a figure that has grown by six percentage points in the last two years.

Following next were entertainment and media brands, which logged 12% on this metric, beating travel and transport, and retail, both on 10%.

Elsewhere, online classified revenues rose 3% like-for-like to £385m, and lead generation - based on payments for sales rather than clickthroughs - saw a 20% leap, to £26m.

Overall, the web now holds a 27% share of the UK ad market, a record high, the IAB/PwC study found.

Anna Bartz, strategy manager at PwC, said: "In difficult economic times, the transparency and measurability of online display and search advertising is helping marketers spend more wisely and get what they pay for."
Statistics from UKOM, the research group backed by Nielsen, showed that 39.5m people accessed the net in June 2011, up by 1.1m over the course of 12 months.

The organisation further reported that 26m people watched 2.3bn videos, for a total of 6.4bn minutes, in June. This equated to an average of 87 videos, and 4.1 hours, per person.

Social networks also now account for 25% of the time spent online by UK web users, UKOM found.

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff