Ireland sees highest growth in digital ad spend in Europe

12 May 2016

Ireland led Europe in terms of the surge of advertising spending going to digital channels like mobile, display, video and search

Ireland experienced the biggest surge in digital ad spend in Europe, with online ad spend across online, mobile and video growing 29pc in 2015.

According to IAB Europe, citing AdEx Benchmark research, online advertising grew 13.1pc to a market value of €36.3bn, surpassing the €33.3bn European TV market.

Across Europe, growth of digital ad spend averaged at 13.1pc.

However, Ireland topped the poll with a 29pc surge in digital ad spend, followed by Bulgaria (22.3pc) and Poland 21.8pc.


The UK was Europe’s biggest digital advertising market, with €11.8bn spent online across mobile, display and video in 2015. This was followed by Germany with €5.8bn and France by €4.2bn.

Recent research from IAB Ireland and PwC showed the overall digital advertising market in Ireland surged 29pc to be worth €340m in 2015. Mobile advertising skyrocketed 78pc to represent a spend of €141m or €4 out of every €10 spent on digital ads.

From zero to over €30bn, Europe’s online advertising market

In just 10 years, some €30bn was added to the online ad market in Europe.

“These results confirm the lead position for digital advertising in the European media landscape echoing today’s digital-first consumer environment,” said Townsend Feehan, CEO of IAB Europe.

‘Mobile and video continue to be the key growth drivers of the European online ad market’

“Given the ever-increasing contribution of digital advertising to the economy and its role in the delivery of digital content and services we must continue to foster European innovation and empower our businesses to compete across the globe.”

Display advertising outperformed other categories with a growth rate of 17.4pc and the pace of display ad growth further accelerated versus 2014. In 2015, the total value of the display ad market was €13.9bn. Search showed growth of 12.6pc – and a market value of €16.9bn. It continues to be the largest online advertising format in terms of revenue, and has increased its growth in 2015 after a slight decrease in 2014.

“Mobile and video continue to be the key growth drivers of the European online ad market and this becomes increasingly apparent when looking at the more-advanced mobile economies (like the UK and Ireland) where nearly 50pc of online advertising is now generated on mobile,” explained Daniel Knapp, director of Advertising Research at IHS Technology and author of the research.

“Mobile display now accounts for €3.5bn or 25.4pc of the display market, with a growth rate of 60.5pc compared with 2014. Online video advertising also showed strong growth, now representing 16.7pc of the display market.

“Over the past 10 years, online advertising in Europe has morphed from an afterthought in media buying into an indispensable set of channels for reaching and engaging consumers that now trumps TV in terms of overall marketer spend.

“Online advertising today stands for a diversified infrastructure that caters to multiple marketing objectives from direct response to branding, as the sustained growth of both paid-for-search and video in our study demonstrates,” Knapp said.

Digital consumer image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years