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UK Mobile Ad Spending to Pass the £2 Billion Mark This Year

Spending on mobile advertising to overtake print in 2015

Mobile ad spending in the UK continues to show significant growth and is expected to rise 96.0% this year to just over £2 billion ($3.16 billion), up from more than £1.03 billion ($1.61 billion) in 2013, according to eMarketer’s latest UK media ad spending estimates. By 2018, eMarketer expects mobile to claim almost 40% of total paid media spending in the UK.

Mobile will account for 13.4% of total media spending in the UK this year, compared with 13.6% for newspapers. In 2015, mobile will surpass print’s total, at 20.5% of all spending vs. 17.0%.

Continued robust increases in the mobile channel are driving the bulk of digital advertising growth in the UK.

The dramatic growth of mobile and video ad expenditures will boost UK digital ad spending throughout the forecast period.

More than half of all digital ad dollars will go toward search formats, while spending on display formats will amount to one-third of the UK’s digital ad market. Display revenues from Google, Facebook and Twitter—three of the UK’s largest display ad publishers—are each expected to rise significantly in the coming years.

In addition, eMarketer estimates that mobile will account for nearly 30% of all UK digital ad spending this year, with this figure rising to more than half by 2016.

In 2013, spending on digital ad formats in the UK (including all paid media spending for ads served to any internet-connected device) rose 16.3% to top £6.3 billion ($9.84 billion). This year, digital ad spending growth will slow to 15.0%, and by 2015, digital will be up just 10.0%. But that’s still much faster growth than that for total media ad spending, which will increase by 6.6% this year to around £15.11 billion ($23.61 billion). Digital will account for half of all paid media ad spending in the UK next year, according to eMarketer’s forecast.

A strong economy, high consumer confidence and increases in spending on digital, TV, radio and outdoor formats will spur what growth there is in UK total media ad spending. Increased ad outlays for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and FIFA World Cup soccer tournament will also support this year’s growth uptick. While digital, and especially mobile, are boosting total growth, other channels are flat or even losing ad revenues. Spending on TV and outdoor ad formats in the UK will rise at a much slower pace, while radio ad outlays will remain relatively flat. Print ad expenditures will continue to decline as advertisers shift their budgets to digital formats. Between 2014 and 2018, magazines and newspapers will lose a combined £276 million ($431.3 million) in advertiser spending.

eMarketer bases all of its 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, and 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 of its 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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