Mobile video advertising spend increases 129% during first half of 2016, study finds

IAB-logo pwc

Ad spend on mobile display has now jumped ahead of that for PC and tablets in the UK. That’s according to the latest UK Digital Adspend report from the PwC and IAB UK.

Given the rapid development of the smartphone market, the results are hardly surprising. Total mobile ad spend which includes search and classified ads rose 56% during the first half of 2016 to £802 million, compared to £762 million spent on PC and tablet display ads.

That means for every £1 spent on digital ads, £0.36 now goes to mobile – an increase of 4p over the last five years.

Mobile overtakes desktop display advertising

Screen shot 2016-10-14 at 10.05.28 AM


Tim Elkington, Chief Strategy Officer, IAB UK, explains that mobile usage today resembles computer usage and consumers have become increasingly reliant on their smartphones for all their entertainment, shopping and communication needs.


“People now spend more time online on their mobile than they do on a computer. 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.”

Indeed, 82% of smartphone users check their phones within the first hour after getting out of bed and that percentage is even higher for Millennials. One in five check their social media first, rising to 29% for 18 to 34-year-olds.

Smartphones are also frequently being used to check the news (30% over 34-year-olds and 42% Millennials).

Mobile video ads have emerged as the clear winner with spending growing 129% during the first half of the year. Video now makes up almost a third of all display ads, but 37% on mobile display.

Outstream and in-read video ads have also gained in popularity at an enormous 440% growth accounting for 40% of video spending.

Mobile video is one of the key drivers of annual digital advertising growth



Social media expenditure rose 64% on mobile. Indeed, mobile now accounts for 80% of media budgets allocated for social campaigns.

Consumer goods brands are those still forking out the most for display ads (18%), followed by travel (16%) and automotive brands (12%).

Paid for search ads rose 18%, largely driven by mobile.

Dan Bunyan, Senior Manager at PwC, says:

dan bunyan

“The phenomenal rise of mobile search reinforces the idea of mobile as the ever-present ad medium. It means advertisers no longer have to wait to target people at specific ‘touchpoints’ during the day. Instead they can deliver highly relevant, localised ads with unprecedented immediacy, such as reacting to people reaching a specific place, looking for a particular product or even the weather changing.”