Mobile ad spend finally surpasses TV

New research from the Advertising Association and WARC has revealed UK ad spend on mobile was higher than TV spend for the first time.

While this is a scenario which we have been expecting for some time, those stubborn TV guys have been holding onto the top spot for some time. According to the estimates, almost one in four pounds spent on advertising went to mobile.

“The latest data indicate that total mobile ad investment during the quarter was higher than that for TV for the first time – though the two channels serve different roles for advertisers,” said WARC’s Data Editor, James McDonald.

“While TV remains the largest display medium by some distance, mobile investment is being driven by advertisers looking to reach consumers via search results and social feeds.”

Looking specifically at the numbers, total ad market growth was recorded at £5.4 billion demonstrating a 3.5% year-on-year growth, the 17th consecutive quarter of market expansion. Spend on TV saw a slight decline, but 30.7% to £1.3 billion is an impressive gain for mobile.

In terms of where the money is actually being spent, social media is hording the lion’s share. Spend on these platforms rose 44.7% year-on-year, despite the criticism many of these platforms for exposing brands to videos and opinions which might negatively impact the brand.

These trends also demonstrate different buying behaviour. Traditional display advertising, which leans heavily on creating brand reputations, is still dominant on TV but brands are leaning more towards searching ranking optimization, for example, as advertising becomes much more scientific.

“UK advertising spend enjoyed a record high in the third quarter of 2017, with figures up again year-on-year. It is encouraging to see further predicted growth of 2.8% for 2018,” said Stephen Woodford, CEO of the Advertising Association. “UK advertising is vital for the economy, generating £6 for every £1 spent.

“As we work through Brexit, we need to help Government make the best decisions to support our industry and, by extension, the wider UK economy as we target growth across the nations and regions and in an increasingly global marketplace.”

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