H1 2019 Digital Ad Spend Reaches £7.3bn

November 7, 2019

UK digital advertising spend continues to show year on year growth, with the total UK digital advertising market now worth £7.3bn.

In the IAB’s latest spend study, the total UK digital ad spend increased by 13% year on year in the first six months of 2019. Search still holds the largest market share whilst display saw a 17% annual uplift, largely driven by video growth (up 27% to £1.32 billion).



Search still has the largest share

Search grew by 13% and accounts for £3.7 billion of total H1 digital ad spend. It therefore remains the largest category in online advertising thanks to its ability to foster demand and drive sales, but we see that digital is still growing and has matured even further and is therefore an increasingly stable factor within the media mix.

IAB UK’s Chief Digital Officer Tim Elkington commented on this by saying:It’s reassuring to see advertisers’ continued confidence in digital advertising, despite the ongoing political and economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit.”


Display (video)

Within the Display advertising market, ad spending shifted towards online video ads, with video showing the highest growth between all ad formats within the report (up 27%).  This growth rate is expected to continue in the foreseeable future and as a format highlights why brands should be allocating more of their ad budget towards video.

Besides that, seeing the value in video also means seeing the value in content and there are great opportunities for advertisers who can create engaging videos that catch the attention of their target audience through personalisation and monetisation,  because after all, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then the power of video can be limitless.


Display (non-video) 

Publishers are increasingly able to monetise ads on mobile devices and although the popularity of banners is decreasing, non-video formats remain the largest Display format (up 8% YoY to £1.45 billion.) This and more is evident from the H1 Ad Spend Study 2019 figures. 


Rethink approach, refocus strategy 

Spend with digital is on the rise but the industry also faces a lot of challenges in the midst of browser changes, the use of third-party data and privacy concerns.

The good news is that digital advertising in the UK will remain larger than any other form of advertising combined as it offers valuable data insights to make smart decisions. Brands understand that investing in digital channels will be key to continued growth.

With advertisers spending more of their marketing budget on digital advertising every year we are likely to see smaller, more specialised players and global parties in particular benefiting from digital growth.


Shamark Nur, Account Manager 

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