UK Video Ad Spend Rose 50 Percent in 2015, Majority of Display Now Programmatic


IAB UKVideo ad spend in the UK grew 50.7 percent to £711 million in 2015, according to the the latest IAB UK Digital Adspend report, which is carried out by PwC. Taken separately, spend on mobile video advertising increased by 98 percent to £353 million, suggesting that the big brand money really is now starting to catch up with audiences.

UK advertisers spent a record £8.61 billion on digital advertising in 2015 – up 16.4 percent – as ownership of devices continues to increase. Mobile accounted for the vast majority (78 percent) of digital ad spend growth, increasing 60.3 percent year-on-year to £2.63bn – or 30.5 percent of all digital advertising.

Major Rise in Connected TV Ownership

Connected TVs saw the biggest rise in ownership (27 percent) followed by smartphones (21 percent), whilst laptops (18 percent) outgrew tablets (16 percent). Smartphones are the most popular internet device (2.1 per household) followed by laptops (1.6) and tablets (1.4 percent).

2015 Digital Ad Spend Growth

Programmatic Milestone for Display

Display ad spend rose 24.5 percent year-on-year to reach a 35 percent share (£3.03bn) of digital ad spend. The share traded programmatically rose from 47% in 2014 to 60% (£1.60bn) in 2015.

Direct sales – where ads are bought at fixed prices directly from media owners using manual processes – now represent just 37% of display ads (down from 47%) while ad networks make up the remaining 4%.

“We’re seeing a three-pronged change in media owner strategy when it comes to selling display ads,” says Dan Bunyan, Senior Manager at PwC. “There’s a shift in sales from networks to Real-Time-Bidding exchanges, a shift from direct to programmatic direct, and one from open to private market places. It’s almost gone full circle in terms of the desire for a more controlled environment to sell in. We predict programmatic will account for 80-90% of display ad sales by 2019.”


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