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European digital advertising market exceeds €55bn in 2018

IAB Europe, a European-level industry association for the digital advertising ecosystem, announced at its annual Interact conference yesterday in Warsaw that digital advertising grew 13.9 percent in 2018 to €55.1bn, driven by strong growth in video, mobile and social spend.

European digital advertising market exceeds €55bn in 2018
Townsend Feehan: “It is encouraging to see such healthy, double-digit growth across the entire region.”

This is the fastest growth since 2011 and has seen the market more than double in size since 2012.

The AdEx Benchmark study is the definitive guide to the state of the European digital advertising market, covering 28 markets, and is now in its thirteenth year, says IAB Europe. In 2018, a total of twenty-one markets saw double-digit year-on-year growth.

Out-stream video and mobile both dominated results in 2018, as they both grew by double-digits in all twenty-eight markets in the study. Out-stream video grew by 44.7 percent on average, compared to in-stream at 19.7 percent. Overall, video grew by 30.9 percent, to €7.6bn, accounting for 33 percent of the display market.

Search remains the largest online advertising category in terms of revenue with a growth of 12.5 percent and a market value of €25bn.

Social is fueling display growth across Europe, growing 33.7 percent year-on-year and now accounts for 49 percent of display.

Total mobile ad spend grew by 31.4 percent in 2018, to €22.8bn, and now accounts for 41 percent of all digital ad spend across Europe.

Commenting on the results, Townsend Feehan, CEO, IAB Europe said: “It is encouraging to see such healthy, double-digit growth across the entire region, driven largely by mobile and video. The digital advertising industry now contributes €55bn towards European Gross Domestic Product and is adding value to both mature and emerging markets. With digital advertising now accounting for 45 percent of all paid media advertising across the region and new European data protection rules making users more aware of their choices about how their data is processed, it is important that we focus on delivering privacy-first ad experiences that protect consumers and support Europe’s digital economy.”

The IAB Europe AdEx Benchmark study divides the digital ad market into three categories: Display, Search and Classifieds and Directories. Growth in these advertising formats has been underpinned by shifting uses in devices and changing consumption patterns. In 2018, Display has closed the gap with Search, growing by 17.5 percent to account for 42.2 percent of all spend.

Dr Daniel Knapp, Chief Economist, IAB Europe continued: “Mobile, video and social continue to drive growth across the region, with mobile now closing in on 50 percent of both display and search, and video accounting for a third of all display. These formats and environments reflect consumer engagement with a range of devices, for entertainment, utility and connection, demonstrating the diverse power of digital advertising to influence consumer decision-making.”

In 2018, the top five largest growth markets all came from the CEE region:

  1. Ukraine – 26.9 percent
  2. Russia – 24.9 percent
  3. Belarus – 23.6 percent
  4. Czech Republic – 20.9 percent
  5. Serbia – 20.1 percent

Norway entered the top 10 in 2018, with further gains by Spain and Sweden.

Top 10 rankings (by market size)

  1. UK - €18.4bn
  2. Germany - €7.2bn
  3. France - €5.2bn
  4. Russia - €4.1bn
  5. Italy - €2.9bn
  6. Netherlands - €2.2bn
  7. Spain - €2.2bn
  8. Sweden - €2.1bn
  9. Switzerland - €2.0bn
  10. Norway - €1.1bn

The full AdEx Benchmark 2018 Report will be published towards the end of June 2019.