UK mobile ad spending grew by 63% to to £1.6 billion


Mobile advertising spending was up 63% to £1.6 billion in the UK from 2014, according to findings by the Internet Advertising Bureau‘s (IAB) UK Digital Adspend report, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). In addition, mobile accounted for 56% of social media spending during the same year and 23% of all digital spend. This hints at advertisers starting to launch their campaigns for mobile and social in closer relation to each other.

Overall, digital advertising grew 14% to £7.19 billion from £6.26 billion in 2013.

Search lead digital ad spending, with display ads following at 32%, due to a growth in video and social media. Mobile video advertising was up 142% year-on-year to £164 million. The findings mirror the flood of mobile devices in the market. The average number of internet-connected devices per household was highest for smartphones at 1.7.

Smartphones are the most common internet-enabled devices in households

adspend fy2014 graph


Simon Bailey, CEO, Telefonica Axonix, found that programmatic advertising was a key driver for mobile’s rapid increase:


“The advent of programmatic advertising is undoubtedly responsible for mobile’s growth in these figures. It’s brought the ability to buy and sell ads in real-time and target audiences with the right messages at scale. What is really exciting is that it’s taken a little while to embrace it in mobile, but now it’s on the cusp of being wholly adopted. In the next five years, advertising will undoubtedly be led by insights gathered from mobile data. Properly taking advantage of the programmatic opportunity will accelerate both mobile’s share of the advertising pie and the UK’s overall digital ad spend, which can only be good for the industry and the economy.”

Consumer goods led digital ad spending (19%) as well as mobile display advertising, followed by travel (14%) and finance at 13%.

Concluding the findings, Dan Bunyan, Senior Manager at PwC cautioned:


“Despite digital’s continued stellar performance, there remains significant growth opportunities to be exploited on mobile and tablet devices. These are the two areas where ownership and usage is extremely high but where advertising investment is disproportionately low. For instance, over half of web pages are viewed via mobile phones but they account for just 23% of digital spend.”

With the rise in mobile device ownership, advertisers will face a greater need to become ever more invested in mobile, adding programmatic and apps, among other tools.