UK advertisers spent £6.4bn on digital advertising in the first half of 2018, up 15 per cent year-on-year, according to the latest figures from the IAB UK and PwC Digital AdSpend report. The results show that growth has accelerated slightly from last year's full year results, where ad spend was up 14.3 per cent.
Video saw the largest year-on-year increase, up 40 per cent to £967m, with non-video display inventory accounting for £1.3bn during H1. Video was the primary driver of digital display growth, which overall grew 20 per cent over the period. Search grew 15 per cent, up to £3.3bn, accounting for 52 per cent of total digital ad spend, while classified remained flat at £726m.
With the maturation of the market, the half year figures are now reported for combined mobile and desktop ad spend, and the IAB and PwC's methodology has been updated accordingly. The full year report for 2018, which is due in April 2019, will shed further light on what is sure to be yet another banner year for mobile adspend.
"With mobile devices accounting for 75 per cent of all UK adults' time online, it is safe to assume smartphone penetration continues to contribute towards the 15 per cent year-on-year growth in digital ad spend reported today," said Tim Elkington, chief digital officer at the IAB UK.
Commenting on the figures, Jon Mew, CEO of the IAB UK, added, "Now in its 22nd year, the IAB and PwC Digital AdSpend report remains one of our most important projects, with the twice-yearly announcement of results anticipated by the industry. With today's half year announcement of gross revenue of £6.4bn and with impressive year-on-year growth of 15 per cent, it is essential we remain focused not only on building the future for digital advertising but on building a sustainable future."