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UK Mobile Ad Spending to Pass the £1 Billion Mark This Year

Twitter to earn £43.6 million in UK ad revenues in 2013, according to eMarketer’s first forecast

Advertisers in the UK will devote more than £1 billion (nearly $1.89 billion) to mobile this year, eMarketer estimates.

That’s up 126.1% from mobile ad spending in 2012, and eMarketer expects ad spending on the channel to nearly double again in 2014 to almost £2.26 billion (more than $3.58 billion).

This forecast represents an upward revision to eMarketer’s previous expectations for UK mobile ad spending, largely based on higher-than-expected results from the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB UK) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) from H1 2013. Based on that data, along with the fact that smartphones and tablets have spread quickly across the mature digital population in the UK, we expect growth to reach 126.1% this year, up from our previous forecast of 90.0%.

Overall digital ad results also exceeded expectations in the first half of the year. Results from the IAB UK and PwC, along with exceptional performance from Google, Facebook and Twitter, have led eMarketer to predict an increase of 15.8% in digital ad spending—up from a forecast of 12.0% earlier this year.

The update means digital now accounts for almost 45% of total media ad spending in the UK, and by 2015 the figure will pass 50%. Within the digital realm, mobile accounts for almost one-fifth of spending.

Google and Facebook continue to dominate the UK digital ad landscape, with the former taking 42.00% of total spend and the latter 5.30% this year, but Twitter has more than doubled its share of the UK digital ad market in 2013—and will do so again in 2014. Its share of UK display spending is higher, at 2.7% this year and rising to 7.6% in 2015.

Overall, eMarketer estimates Twitter will earn £46.3 million (nearly $73.5 million) this year in the UK, of which £43.6 million (almost $70 million) will come from ads—more than triple last year’s ad earnings. Advertising will continue to account for the lion’s share of Twitter’s UK revenues through 2015, when eMarketer projects ads will bring in £171.0 million (around $271.4 million) for the social network. These figures will also boost the UK’s prominence at Twitter, pushing the country to account for 15.2% of ad revenues worldwide by the end of our forecast period, up from 11.5% this year and just 2.4% in 2011.

eMarketer bases all of our forecasts on a multipronged approach that focuses on both worldwide and local trends in the economy, technology and population along with company-, product-, country- and demographic-specific trends as well as trends in specific consumer behaviors. We analyze quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of research firms, government agencies, media outlets and company reports, weighting each piece of information based on methodology and soundness.

In addition, every element of each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all our forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of each forecast means those assumptions and framework are constantly updated to reflect new market developments and other trends.

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