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Digital ad spending in Ireland set a record in 2016, reaching a new high of €445 million ($492.3 million) with help from surging investment in mobile and social media advertising, according to data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau Ireland (IAB Ireland) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
Total digital ad spending rose 31% year over year, accelerating from a 29% increase in 2015. In addition, 2016 was the first 12-month period in which mobile ad spending, worth €231 million ($255.5 million), surpassed desktop expenditures, valued at €214 million ($236.7 million). This was propelled by a 63% surge in mobile ad outlays.
Display advertising (for desktop and mobile combined) had the highest growth rate of all digital ad formats in 2016, rising 44% to €197 million ($217.9 million). Paid search advertising grew by 25% to €219 million ($242.3 million). Classified advertising expanded approximately 7% to €29 million ($32.1 million).
Within the display category, social media saw the largest uptick in investment, up 133% over 2015 to total €114 million ($126.1 million) last year. Video ad spend grew by 91% to €47 million ($52.0 million). Native ad outlays expanded 82% to €82 million ($90.7 million). Approximately one-third of total display ad spending was traded programmatically in 2016, the first year for which IAB Ireland and PwC have announced a figure.
IAB Ireland and PwC attributed the country’s rising ad spending to several factors, such as continuing growth of digital consumption, including streaming video, abetted by pervasive adoption of smartphones among adults; and marketers following through on intentions noted in earlier studies that 2016 would be a year in which digital advertising would be a top focus.
Overall, the IAB Ireland/PwC figures were slightly higher than eMarketer’s expectations for digital ad spending in Ireland in 2016. We predict ad investments devoted to reaching the country’s internet users will hit $479.0 million this year, representing more than half (51.4%) of total media ad spending for the first time.
Shifts in how retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands think about ecommerce, combined with an accelerating acceptance among consumers for buying food digitally, have boosted online sales of groceries. Retailers and brands are taking note of these changing consumer behaviors and offering more digital options for grocery shopping and delivery, which will continue to drive the trend upward in 2017 and beyond.
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