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Mobile display spend passes PC

News, 12 October 2016

LONDON: UK spending on display ads delivered via mobile surpassed that for PC and tablets during the first half of 2016, according to new figures from IAB UK which highlight the speed at which mobile spending is advancing in all formats.

The UK Digital Adspend report, from IAB UK and consulting firm PwC, put the total figure for digital advertising expenditure at £4.78bn for the first six months of the year, with mobile display accounting for £802m, ahead of PC and tablet display on £762m.

Total mobile adspend, including search and classifieds, increased by 56.1% year on year: 36p in every £1 spent on digital advertising now goes to mobile, up from 4p just five years ago.

"People now spend more time online on their mobile than they do on a computer," noted Tim Elkington, chief strategy officer at IAB UK.

"Consequently, marketers devote more ad spend to mobile as they increasingly cotton on to the fact that people essentially carry an ad platform with them wherever they are."

Across all digital advertising formats, spending on mobile is growing faster than digital generally, and nowhere is this more evident than in video.

Spend on video ads overall grew 67% to hit £474m during the front half of 2016. But, driven by rising video, TV and film viewing on smartphones, mobile video spend alone grew 129%.

Consequently, video now accounts for 30% of all display advertising and 37% of mobile display.

Adspend on social media sites grew 43% to £745m – meaning nearly half (48%) of display spend now goes on social – but social media spend on mobile alone grew 64%, so mobile now accounts for 80% of all spend allocated to social.

Similarly, mobile spending is growing faster than overall digital spending in content/native (37% vs. 29%), display (52% v 21%) and search (61% vs. 18%).

Dan Bunyan, Senior Manager at PwC, remarked on the "phenomenal rise" of mobile search which "reinforces the idea of mobile as the ever-present ad medium".

"Advertisers … can deliver highly relevant, localised ads with unprecedented immediacy," he said, "such as reacting to people reaching a specific place, looking for a particular product or even the weather changing."

Consumer goods brands spent the most on display ads (18.3%), followed by travel & transport (16.4%) and automotive (11.7%).

The latest IAB data will be made available to AA/Warc Expenditure Report subscribers from 25th October.

Data sourced from IAB UK; additional content by Warc staff