Digital ad spending accelerates as mobile overtakes desktop

Figures reveal strong Facebook growth in Ireland

Surging Facebook advertising revenues appear to be the driver of a 59% increase in the size of the display ad market, which accounted for €94m of overall first-half revenues. Photograph: Getty Images

Surging Facebook advertising revenues appear to be the driver of a 59% increase in the size of the display ad market, which accounted for €94m of overall first-half revenues. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Digital advertising revenues grew 33 per cent in the first half of the year, with social media extending its share of the market and mobile overtaking desktop, new figures from industry body IAB Ireland show.

Spending on digital advertising in the Irish market reached a record €216 million in the first six months of 2016, according to the IAB/PwC online adspend study.

The rate of growth has accelerated since last year, when Ireland was already the fastest-growing digital ad market in Europe.

Mobile revenues soared 67 per cent year-on-year and edged ahead of desktop, with some €108.5 million spent on mobile ads and €107.5 million going on desktop ad formats in the first six months.

IAB said advertisers were catching up with shifts in consumer habits.

“Smartphones are increasingly being used as the main online device for users to access information, transact business, consume news and entertainment,” said IAB Ireland chief executive Suzanne McElligott.

Key driver

A surge in Facebook advertising revenues appears to be the key driver of a 59 per cent increase in the estimated size of the display ad market, which accounted for €94 million of overall first-half revenues.

Some €51 million of this was classed as “social media display”, which has more than doubled from the €22 million estimated in the first half of 2015.

In July, Facebook reported second-quarter growth of 80 per cent in mobile advertising revenues, with its total worldwide quarterly ad revenues calculated at $6.2 billion, up 59 per cent. The social media giant will publish its third-quarter earnings next Wednesday.

Paid search advertising, which largely represents Google’s dominant share of the digital ad market, grew 21 per cent in the first half to €108 million, IAB said.

Social media

Online video ad revenues, which overlap with those of social media, jumped 85 per cent to €20 million, while native advertising, or ad formats that mimic the editorial content of a website or app, was valued at €37 million. In the same period last year, native ads, then a nascent market, were estimated to be worth €16 million.

Online classified revenues arrived at €14 million, which was flat on the same period in 2015. This is just 7 per cent of the total digital market.

The IAB’s record figures confirm that the digital advertising market has extended its lead over the next biggest medium, television, where the expected rate of growth 2016 has been hampered by Brexit-related caution on the part of the big TV advertisers, many of which are UK-based.

The explosion of digital as a medium has been the defining feature of the advertising market over the past five years. In the first half of 2011, digital ad revenues were estimated to be just €65 million.