Mobile ad spend in the UK up 148pc last year to £526m


Increased smartphone ownership driving growth, with mobile ad spend now accounting for more than half of total digital spend

Mobile advertising spend hit £526 million in the UK last year, up 148 per cent from the £203.2 million spent in 2011.

This is according to the latest Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) digital adspend report, conducted by PwC, which said the growth was fuelled by smartphone ownership hitting almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of the UK population in December.

The increase of £322.7 million in mobile advertising spend over 2011 represents more than half (53 per cent) of the £607.3 million increase in total digital advertising spend. This hit a record annual high of £5.42 billion, up 12.5 per cent from 2011. Mobile now accounts for 9.7 per cent of all digital advertising spend compared to 1.1 per cent in 2009.

Without a prevalent 4G network, mobile video advertising grew 1,601 per cent from £800,000 in 2011 to £13 million last year. Total mobile display advertising grew 121 per cent year-on-year to £150 million, while mobile search grew like-for-like by 164 per cent to £365 million.

Internet Advertising Bureau director of research and strategy Tim Elkington said: “Mobile has reached this milestone because marketers are becoming more attuned to the ‘always on’ nature of consumers who expect to engage with content wherever they are. Consequently, advertisers are increasingly buying integrated campaigns across online and mobile rather than regarding mobile as an afterthought.

“There’s simply so much buzz around mobile. In the last six months, 20 more of the UK’s top 100 advertisers have produced mobile-optimised websites; 4G mobile ultra-broadband is enabling a new era of richer content consumption and tablets are being predicted to outsell PCs in 2013. This will help maintain mobile’s significant momentum in attracting both consumer attention and advertising pounds.”