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UK Tops Western Europe in Ad Spending per Person

Nordics lead in digital ad spending per person

September 25, 2013 | Media Buying

The UK is the No. 2 country in the entire world and the No. 1 country in Western Europe in terms of ad spending per person, estimated at $540 this year, according to figures in eMarketer’s latest Global Media Intelligence Report, produced in collaboration with Starcom MediaVest Group.

Western Europe as a whole is one of the most mature ad markets in the world, accounting for 21.3% of total media ad spending, 24.1% of digital ad spending and 22.7% of mobile internet ad spending worldwide this year. And the region dominates the rankings of countries where ad expenditures per person, and digital ad expenditures per internet user, are highest.

Six countries in Western Europe are in the top 10 global spots for total media ad spending per person, with the UK, Norway and Denmark leading the way. For digital ad spending per internet user, another six of the top 10 country spots go to Western Europe, with Norway, Sweden and Denmark making top appearances. Norway, where advertisers will spend $209 on digital ads per internet user this year, is the top spender of any country in the world by this metric.

Top 20 Countries, Ranked by Total Media Ad Spending per Person and Digital Ad Spending per Internet User, 2013

While a mature market may have high levels of spending to go along with widespread consumer adoption of connected devices, growth is relatively meager—especially with continued turmoil in the eurozone harming consumer and business confidence.

Total media ad spending will be up just 1.1% this year in Western Europe, after dropping 1.1% in 2012. Digital ad spending will grow by 10.2%, with Finland, Germany and the UK leading the way, at 12% growth projected for the year in each of these countries.

Digital Ad Spending Growth in Western Europe, by Country, 2011-2017 (% change)

Growth in mobile internet ad spending is higher, at an expected 115.0% for 2013. eMarketer expects mobile internet ad spending, which includes all formats served to any internet-connected mobile device, to more than double this year in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany, with growth rates quickly slowing to a still robust 26.0% across the region by 2017.

Key figures on Western Europe media usage and spending from the report include:

  • Internet users: 68.1% of the regional population in 2013, up from 58.4% in 2008.
  • Mobile phone users: 81.8% of the population in 2013, up from 74.8% in 2009.
  • Smartphone users: Nearly 39% of the population in 2013, up from 12.3% in 2009.
  • Social network users: 174.2 million in 2013, up from 73.5 million in 2008.
  • Total ad spending: $110.21 billion in 2013, down from $116.54 billion in 2008.
  • Digital ad spending: $28.39 billion, or 25.8% of total ad spending in Western Europe.
  • Mobile ad spending: $3.59 billion in 2013, up from $126 million in 2008.

The Global Media Intelligence report is eMarketer’s largest and most comprehensive snapshot of the state of media usage and spending globally. The report contains more than 700 charts collected from over 150 global research sources, which SMG helped identify and gather for local and core global markets, in addition to benchmarks, analysis and context provided by eMarketer.

eMarketer Corporate Subscribers can access the full report here.

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