European Online Adspend Surpasses TV


LISBON: European online advertising has surpassed TV, with a record annual spend of 36.2 billion euros ($41.4 billion) in 2015, according to IAB Europe.

The study was part of IAB Europe’s tenth annual AdEx Benchmark research, which records spending patterns across its different member states. The report found marked growth in mobile and video adspend across all surveyed territories, with more than 30 billion euros ($35 billion) in spend added within the last decade.

The IAB Europe AdEx Benchmark research split the digital ad market into three broad segments: display, search, and classifieds and directories, with display reporting the largest growth percentage (17.4 percent) at 13.9 billion euros ($15.9 billion). Search was the largest category in adspend, notching up 16.9 billion euros ($19.3 billion) and representing 12.6 percent annual growth.

Mobile and video continue to be the key growth drivers of the European online ad market, a trend that becomes increasingly apparent when looking at the more advanced mobile economies (such as the U.K. and Ireland) where nearly 50 percent of all online advertising is generated on mobile. Additionally, the study found that mobile display now accounts for 3.5 billion euros ($3.9 billion), or 25.4 percent of the display market, with a growth rate of 60.5 percent over 2014.

Meanwhile, online video advertising also showed strong growth, now representing 16.7 percent of the display market.

Townsend Feehan, the CEO of IAB Europe, remarked: “These results confirm the lead position for digital advertising in the European media landscape, echoing today’s digital-first consumer environment. Given the ever-increasing contribution of digital advertising to the economy and its role in the delivery of digital content and services we must continue to foster European innovation and empower our businesses to compete across the globe.”

Daniel Knapp, the director of advertising research at IHS Technology (the research house behind the study), said: “Over the past ten years, online advertising in Europe has morphed from an afterthought in media buying into an indispensable set of channels for reaching and engaging consumers that now trumps TV in terms of overall marketer spend. Online advertising today stands for a diversified infrastructure that caters to multiple marketing objectives from direct response to branding, as the sustained growth of both paid-for-search and video in our study demonstrates.”

Eleni Marouli, the principal analyst at IHS Technology, added: “It is a fitting milestone to see online overtake TV as the largest advertising medium on the tenth anniversary of the AdEx Benchmark edition. In a challenging economic environment and flat media market, online advertising has been the shining star, keeping the European advertising market afloat and again in 2015 lifting it out of decline. Mature and emerging markets alike have noted strong growth rates again this year, demonstrating that innovation in formats, data and targeting continues to attract performance and brand budgets online.”