Moburst

UK digital ad spend hits a record £23.5 billion in 2021

Tim Green

The UK digital ad market doubled in size during the two-year pandemic, says a new study by IAB UK.

The Digital Adspend report, conducted with PwC, shows that the digital advertising market grew by 50 percent between 2019 and n2021. It also grew 41 percent last year to reach a total of £23.5 billion

Key takeaways from the research include:

  • Search commanded the biggest spend, up 38 percent to £11.7 billion
  • Spend on display ads was up 53 percent to £9.7 billion
  • Video drove the majority of display growth, up 58 percent to £5.5 billion
  • Spend on banner ads surged by 60 percent
  • Mobile accounted for 60 percent of total spend, up 43 percent year-on-year to £14.13 billion
  • Podcast spend was up 61 percent year-on-year to £54 million
  • Static and dynamic in-game advertising totalled £9.8 million

Jon Mew, CEO of IAB UK, said: “After a five percent rise in digital ad spend in 2020, we were confident that 2021’s results would be much stronger, but for the market to be up 50 percent on pre-pandemic spend is incredible and testament to the resilience of our world-leading industry.

“While growth on this scale is truly brilliant to see, what matters most is how we sustain investment in the long-term, beyond recovery and in the face of growing regulatory scrutiny. As an industry, we should take confidence from the results announced today and channel that into pulling together to ensure a sustainable future for digital advertising.”