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Google, Facebook Account for Almost Half of UK Digital Ad Spend

Mobile to reach nearly £1 billion ($1.59 billion) and 16.5% of digital ad spending this year in the UK

Google and Facebook continue to dominate the UK digital ad market, with their combined revenues accounting for nearly half of the £6.1 billion ($9.63 billion) expected in spending this year.

Google alone will account for 43% of all UK digital ad revenues, up from 41.9% in 2012, and looks set to reach 46.0% by 2015. Facebook will make up an additional 5.0% of digital ad spending in the UK this year, according to new eMarketer estimates. UK ad revenues at Facebook reached nearly £223 million ($353.3 million) in 2012, and the company will grow its UK ad business by 36% this year, eMarketer estimates, to £303 million ($481.4 million).

eMarketer’s previous forecast of Facebook’s UK ad revenues, released in June 2013, projected £279 million ($442.2 million) for this year. Facebook’s Q2 earnings results were higher than expected, leading to the upward revision to eMarketer’s forecast.

The two companies’ hold on the digital display market is almost equally as strong as their hold on the total digital ad market, though shares of the display market are more evenly distributed between the two companies. Google will account for nearly a quarter of all UK digital display ad spending this year, eMarketer estimates, while Facebook will contribute a further 20.2% to the total. By 2015, eMarketer expects Google and Facebook to make up 56.8% of the overall UK display ad market, with Google taking a widening share of the total.

One major driver of growth for both companies, and the market overall, comes from mobile advertising. eMarketer estimates mobile advertising spending in the UK will reach nearly £1 billion (close to $1.59 billion) this year, accounting for 16.5% of digital ad spending, compared to just 9.7% last year. By 2017, mobile is expected to account for a whopping 44.4% of digital ad spending and nearly a quarter of all ad spending in the UK.

eMarketer’s top-line forecast for UK digital ad spending remains unchanged since June, and calls for £6.06 billion ($9.63 billion) in outlays this year, rising to £8.36 billion (nearly $13.3 billion) by 2017.

Our total media ad spending forecast, by contrast, has been revised slightly downward, from £13.98 billion ($22.18 billion) predicted in June to £13.96 billion ($22.16 billion) now expected for this year.

The changes include a downward revision to forecast TV ad spending, due to changes in results reported by eMarketer’s UK TV ad benchmarking source, Ofcom.

eMarketer bases its estimates of UK ad spending on the analysis of various elements related to the ad spending market, including macro-level economic conditions; historical trends of the advertising market; historical trends of each medium in relation to other media; reported revenues from major ad publishers; estimates from other research firms; consumer media consumption trends; and eMarketer interviews with executives at ad agencies, brands, media publishers and other industry leaders.


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