Digital adspend hits £7.2bn as video plays starring role

online video 2As the marketing industry braces itself for the latest IPA Bellwether Report, the IAB has brought some light relief to the expected doom by revealing that total UK digital adspend was up 13% year on year in the first six months of 2019 to £7.2bn, as clients wake up to the joys of video advertising.

Conducted with PwC, the IAB half year Adspend report shows that display (video) and search were the biggest drivers of growth between January and June 2019 – up 27% and 13% respectively.

Search accounted for £3.7bn of digital ad spend in H1, while combined display (video and non-video) is worth £2.8bn, a 17% annual uplift.

Non-video remains the largest display format (up 8% year on year to £1.45bn), but video formats are growing fast (up 27% to £1.32bn).

IAB UK chief digital officer Tim Elkington said that it was “reassuring to see advertisers’ continued confidence in digital advertising”, despite the ongoing political and economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

He added: “It’s clear from the results that advertisers are increasingly harnessing the immersive storytelling opportunities of digital video to engage people – a trend we see continued from our 2018 Adspend study released earlier in the year.”

Trade Desk UK general manager Anna Forbes reckons the continued increase in digital adspend is testament to sterling progress within the industry.

She said: “The innovations of the past 12 months alone have made it easier – and more rewarding – than ever for advertisers to shift spend to digital platforms.

“Most notable is the sizeable growth of video, which contributed well over £1bn in the first six months of the year. Advertisers have long known that video is a powerful format to reach consumers – but, thanks to the injection of programmatic technology, the power of video as a channel has grown exponentially.”

Forbes went on to claim that “this is just the beginning” insisting that the contribution of video is likely to skyrocket as more and more connected TV streaming services enter the UK market.

She concluded: “With UK consumers creeping ever closer to subscription fee saturation, advertising will be a key asset in unlocking new revenue for many streaming companies, further boosting an already flourishing sector of UK adspend.”

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