Digital ad-spend hits record high

UK web users spent an average of one in every 12 minutes each day online in the first six months of 2013, with advertisers spending a record £3 billon (€3.53bn) targeting them with marketing messages, according to research from the Internet Advertising Bureau and PwC.

UK companies increased the amount spent on internet, smartphone and tablet advertising by 17.5 per cent year on year to £3.04 billion in the first half of the year.

The growth has been fuelled by the take-up of smartphones and tablets which saw ad spend growth of 127 per cent in the first six months to £429 million.

The market for advertising on tablets is estimated at £10.5 million in the first half of the year, up from £2.4 million a year ago. In the past year mobile advertising has doubled its share to 14 per cent of total UK Internet ad spend.

“With smartphone penetration crossing the two-thirds [of the UK population] landmark and the successful roll out of 4G, 2013 could be the year when advertising spend on mobile crosses the £1 billion threshold,” said the IAB director of research and strategy, Tim Elkington.

Of the £3.04 billion total internet spend in the first half,online display ads grew by 23 per cent to £738 million. Video advertising grew 86 per cent to £135 million, and advertising on social media rose 53 per cent to £242 million.

Paid-for search advertising, which is dominated by Google with about 90 per cent control of the UK market, continued to grow, rising 19 per cent year on year to £1.81 billion. Within this, mobile search advertising has started to gather real pace, up 101 per cent year on year to £271 million.

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