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Germany's Digital Display Ad Spending Beat Expectations in 2016

Forecasts point to even higher growth in 2017

February 24, 2017 | Media Buying

Just as the pace of Germany’s economic growth is picking up—with GDP rising 1.9% in 2016—digital advertising in the country is also on a roll.

According to preliminary calculations by the Online-Vermarkterkreis (OVK), operating within the Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW), spending on digital (including mobile) display ads in Germany rose 6.5% in 2016, surpassing the OVK’s earlier prediction of 6.3% annual growth. That boosted the value of Germany’s digital display market to €1.79 billion ($1.98 billion).

Digital Display Ad Spending in Germany, 2015-2017 (billions of € and % change)

On the strength of these results, OVK has forecast even more substantial growth of 7.0% in 2017, which would translate to digital display ad spending of €1.91 billion ($2.11 billion).

A surge in video consumption on all digital devices has encouraged more advertisers to invest in pre-roll video spots. In fact, pre-roll was the top display ad format in Germany last year, ranked by spending; investments in pre-rolls totaled €433 million ($479 million), according to Nielsen data cited by OVK. Ad bundles ranked second, attracting €396 million ($438.1 million). The biggest loser, in terms of spending, was the wallpaper format. In 2016, these ads attracted just €162 million ($179.2 million)—about half the amount spent on wallpaper placements in 2015.

Top 10 Online Display Ad Formats in Germany, Ranked by Spending, 2015 & 2016 (millions of €)

OVK’s final figures for 2016 ad spending, developed in conjunction with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), will appear in a report at the end of March 2017. If these initial numbers are confirmed, OVK’s conclusions will align fairly closely with those of eMarketer. It should be noted, however, that eMarketer has estimated 2016 and 2017 spending on digital display ads in Germany to be $2.16 billion and $2.28 billion, respectively—a slightly more bullish view than OVK’s.

Overall, eMarketer expects display spending to make up 37.1% of Germany’s digital advertising market this year, compared with 47.7% devoted to search, and 15.2% going to classified and directory ads.

Karin von Abrams

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