UK Digital Ad Spend Reaches £6.3 Billion

The 2013 full year Digital Ad Spend report was released by the IAB yesterday, showing impressive digital advertising spend growth.

UK digital ad spend reached £6.3bn in 2013, up 15% year-on-year. The data shows another fantastic year for the digital sector. Even through the troubled recession years from 2008 to 2010, digital advertising bucked the UK trend, and was one of the few sectors that continued to grow.


UK Digital Ad Spend: 2004 - 2013

2013’s figures are fuelled by the growth in mobile advertising. According to the IAB, over one third (36%) of people access the internet in the UK via. tablet devices such as iPads. Given that over one in four British consumers now owns a tablet, it’s no surprise that mobile advertising doubled from 2012, breaking the £1bn mark for the first time.

Smartphones now account for over three quarters (76%) of handsets in the UK, and, along with the increase in tablet usage, brands and agencies are investing more in mobile advertising. Consequently, mobile advertising now accounts for 16% of total digital advertising spend.

Paid Search (PPC) still takes the majority of UK digital advertising budget (55%) at £3.49 billion.

Display advertising, driven by Social Media and video consumption, grew at 22% year-on-year to £1.86 billion, making up 30% of the UK digital advertising spend in 2013. Video advertising in itself is starting to take a larger slice of the digital advertising pie, growing 62% from 2012 to £324.9 billion (18% of all digital display advertising).

Dan Dunyan, Manager at PwC says:

“Mobile is now more of a story-telling tool for advertisers rather than just an information device. Almost half of mobile ad spend is accounted for by TVs biggest advertiser categories – consumer goods and entertainment brands – which is testament to how important mobile has become for brands.”

For more information about the IAB / PwC data, and for the full 2013 ad spend report, go to

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