Ad spend rises again — especially for mobile platforms, IAB finds

By Chris Lee

UK ad spend rose by £607 million during 2012 to reach a record £5.42 billion, according to figures out in April from the IAB and PwC. Mobile ads outstripped the market with 148 per cent growth – or £332.7 million – accounting for 10 per cent of all digital ad spend.

Video advertising rose by 46 per cent in 2012, rising to £160 million, while social media advertising grew by a further 25 per cent to £328.4 million.

Mobile focus

IAB’s director of research and strategy Tim Elkington said that mobile’s significant growth was due in large part to an increased focus on mobile strategy by marketers, who are looking to create integrated, cross-platform campaigns.

“In the last six months, 20 or more of the UK’s top 100 advertisers have produced mobile-optimised websites; 4G mobile ultra-broadband is enabling a new era of richer content consumption and tablets are being predicted to outsell PCs in 2013. This will help maintain mobile’s significant momentum in attracting both consumer attention an advertising pounds,” he was quoted as saying in The Drum.

The growth in spend on mobile advertising reflects the fact that nearly 40 per cent of UK adults (Ofcom) now access the web via their smartphones and tablets, according to Jon Myers of online advertising management technology firm Marin Software.

“All the indications are that more and more consumers are spending time searching on mobile devices. Advertisers are following this trend with spend, as we found almost 20 per cent of search spend went to mobile devices in December 2012,” he said.

Get social

Myers also believes that consumers’ time spent on mobile devices has drawn increased invest towards not just mobile ads but also social media ads.

“Search takes the lion’s share of all online advertising and its rate of growth continues to outstrip other developed channels,” he told NMK. “It’s interesting to see spend on social display continue its fast growth. We’ve seen increased interest from advertisers as consumers dedicate more and more of their time online to social networks.”

Another key driver is that tracking the performance of campaigns on platforms like Facebook has become more sophisticated and accurate, Myers added.

“As social networks also continue to integrate search capabilities into their platforms – we’ve already seen Facebook launch Graph Search earlier this year – we expect social search to become a really attractive option for advertisers,” he continued. “The potential of the social market is big despite this growth, as advertisers are still spending a much smaller percentage of online advertising budget on social relative to the amount of consumers online time spent on social networks.”

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