Mobile display and search formats grew more than 50% in 2016

Online advertising has increased 12.2% in 2016 to reach €41.8 billion, according to the latest AdEx Benchmark study. All in all, online advertising continues to surpass TV with total online ad spend seeing a €35.2 billion net addition over the last 11 years.

All 20 markets measured saw double-digit growth for the third year in a row with three markets recording a 30% jump. These were Romania at 36.9%, Slovenia at 32.2% and Ireland with a 31.4% growth.

Mobile once again proves its worth with mobile display and search formats seeing a 50%+ growth during 2016. Indeed, mobile dominated across all markets with a 100% growth rate across some. Mobile display ad spend now reaches €5.4 billion in spending making up 33.3% of the total market.

Video is frequently mentioned as perhaps the most important ad format of the year. According to the report, it saw a strong increase to reach 18.2% of the total display market.

Daniel Knapp, Senior Director TMT at IHS Markit, explains that mobile and video are core drivers of the European online ad market.

“The rules and practices of online advertising have changed with these new formats and screens gaining ground, and our study shows that marketers’ and publishers’ efforts to innovate both in terms of measurement, delivery, targeting, and creative are paying off. At the same time, our 2016 data shows that search and classifieds and directories have entered a period of rejuvenation with accelerating growth rates. Classifieds & directories is fueled by industry consolidation and search benefits from better adoption of mobile and maps as search interfaces.”

Even though mobile display is rather concentrated, 13 out of the 22 countries measured grew faster compared to the market leader.

AdEx expects a 10% market growth for 2017 compared to 2016 with a concentration of fewer players growing faster. Video is likely to dominate consumer attention with live video particularly important within sports. Audio is also increasingly becoming a more important format for advertisers. And as mobile-first turns toward new formats led by AI, practical matters of these emerging formats as well as measurements are still far behind.