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Mobile Is Driving UK Ad Spend Growth

Mobile overtakes TV and desktop spending in 2016

March 10, 2016 | Media Buying

Mobile ad spending in the UK continues to show strong growth and is expected to rise 35.0% this year to £4.58 billion ($7 billion), accounting for 27.0% of UK total media ad spend. That’s a higher figure than eMarketer forecast last year and marks the first time that that mobile has overtaken TV ad spending in the country.

UK Total Media Ad Spending Share, by Media, 2014-2020 (% of total)

eMarketer projects that TV spend will reach £4.18 billion ($6.39 billion) this year, or 24.6% of total media ad spend.

Digital spend will continue to take the largest slice of the overall paid media market—in 2016 it is forecast to hold a 53.1% share, which is expected to rise to 60.0% by 2020.

UK Total Media Ad Spending, by Media, 2015-2020 (millions of £)

Within the print sector, ad spending in both newspapers and magazines is predicted to decline. In 2016, newspapers will account for 10.0% of the overall ad share—down from 11.1% in 2015. Magazines will hold a 3.9% share this year, down from 4.3% last year.

“Ad spend tends to follow eyeballs, to a degree, and with mobile time accounting for an ever greater proportion of the average UK consumer’s media day, it’s little wonder that mobile ad spend has hit this milestone and is driving the digital total,” said eMarketer analyst Bill Fisher.

UK Digital Ad Spending, by Device and Format, 2014-2020 (millions of £)

Mobile ad spending will also surpass desktop spend for the first time in 2016. While mobile had already exceeded desktop spend within display, in 2016 mobile search will also beat desktop search spending.

As mobile’s share of ad spend continues on a strong growth trajectory, desktop’s portion will slowly decline. By 2020, desktop spend will be £3.17 billion ($4.84 billion), compared with mobile’s £8.99 billion ($13.74 billion).

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