IAB: digital adspend up 49% in first half of 2021

IAB: digital adspend up 49% in first half of 2021

Digital advertising spend surged by nearly 50% in the first half of 2021 compared to the previous year, according to IAB UK’s bi-annual report.

The H1 Digital Adspend report, produced with PwC, showed digital ad spending for January to June 2021 was valued at £10.5bn.

This is up 49% from the same time period in 2020 and 42% on pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

The report highlighted rising consumer confidence, a thriving ecommerce market, easing of Covid-19 restrictions (such as resumption of content production) and the UK’s successful vaccine roll-out programme as contributing factors to this rise in spend.

On top of this, it emphasised a growing online population as a significant element to the findings, as Ipsos data showed the UK’s online population had expanded overall by 6%, with the over-75 category increasing by 43%.

IAB UK’s CEO Jon Mew explained: “The pandemic forced businesses to either accelerate or improve their ecommerce offering to cater to a nation of housebound consumers – we saw three years of change take place in just three months.

“Advertisers in turn adopted a more digital-heavy strategy as it was the medium least impacted by lockdowns.”

Growth by digital channel

IAB’s update found that search remained the biggest digital channel with £5.5bn, showing an increase of 49% compared to 2020.

The display market has also grown by 55% and within this video spend rose by 70% year-on-year to £2.3bn, (up 79% compared with 2019).

Mobile experienced a 75% increase in spending compared to the previous year.

This  demonstrated the attraction for the platform advertisers as it can be accessed by consumers at home or on the move, giving it a 64% share of all digital investment.


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