Net Now Takes More Ad Spend Than TV In UK, After Strong Q1

Something of a watershed. Online ad spend grew to make up 23.5 percent of all UK ad spend between in the first half of the year, becoming the most popular medium, says an IAB UK survey by PwC and WARC. That’s compared with 21.9 percent taken by TV.

The net gobbled 4.6 percent more ad outlay (£82 million) than in the same period last year, growing to £1.75 billion, despite the overall media pie shrinking 16.6 percent (£1.5 billion).

IAB notes “a significant restructure of marketing budgets as advertisers follow their audiences online and look to the internet for even more measureable and accountable methods”.

That’s been the same pattern for several years now and, whilst online ad spend growth has tailed off significantly from the days of 50 percent-a-year and online prices are falling, TV networks, too, have had to discount their slots to satisfy reluctant advertisers. Online had already overtaken national and regional newspapers.

But the headlines mask something deeper. Whilst online spend over the whole half-year grew 4.6 percent, it’s flattered by a strong Q1 (£920 million) – in Q2, it crashed back down again (£832 million), in the sharpest ever quarterly contraction

Paid search still leads: up 6.8 percent from last year to £1.05 billion (59.8 percent of online ad spend).

Classifieds shift from newspapers: up 10.6 percent to £385 million (22 percent of online ad spend) – “reaping the benefits of the continued migration of advertising from print to online formats”, IAB says.

Display falling with other media: down 5.2 percent to £316.5 million (18.1 percent of online ad spend); but not as fast as all-media display’s double-digit decline.

Technology took most spend (19.1 percent), telecoms (13.3 percent), finance (13.2 percent), entertainment and media (11.8 percent), consumer goods saw (8.1 percent).