Mobile rockets to 41pc of all digital ad spend in Ireland (infographic)

14 Apr 2016

One in five Irish people admit spending every waking hour checking their smartphone

Mobile advertising now accounts for €4 out of every €10 spent on digital advertising in Ireland, new figures from IAB Ireland and PwC reveal, with mobile seeing a 78pc surge to €140m last year.

The 2015 IAB PwC Online Ad Spend study showed the overall Irish digital advertising market surged 29pc to €340m in 2015.

Mobile advertising rocketed 78pc year-on-year and now represents €4 in every €10 spent on digital advertising, with a total mobile ad spend of €141m.

Suzanne McElligott, CEO of IAB Ireland, said that this is being driven by the sheer scale of smartphone use in Ireland, estimated at 75pc of the Irish population, where web traffic on smartphones is a third higher than the EU average, a quarter higher than the UK and a tenth higher than the US.

“The big story from our 2015 report is the acceleration of mobile advertising to representing 41pc of the total digital ad spend,” McElligott said.

“Mobile advertising is beginning to catch up with user engagement on mobile devices. IAB’s newly-launched LEAN initiative, which promotes the use of ad formats that are Lighter, Encrypted, Ad-choice compliant and Non-intrusive, will further enable advertisers to enhance their engagement with users across all digital devices.”

‘We are seeing significant focus by advertisers on mobile advertising and strong growth in digital display, driven by video-on-demand, social media and native advertising’

Display advertising grew 38pc during the year to €137m, representing 40pc of total ad spend.

Within the display category, social media display rocketed by 72pc from €28.5m in 2014 to €49m in 2015.

Spend on digital video grew by 71pc from €14.2m in 2014 to €24.5m in 2015.

More and more digital marketing is going native

Also within display, native advertising is tracking 33pc of total display, with ad spend of €45m. Native formats include in-feed advertiser-controlled ads, such as those appearing on Facebook and Twitter, publisher-controlled in-feed advertising, which is a feature of content-rich sites such as news and entertainment sites, as well as recommendation units embedded in sites by specialists such as Outbrain and Taboola.


Paid-for search advertising has grown 28pc year-on-year and dominates the market, with a 52pc share of total online ad spend at €176m.

Classified advertising online holds an 8pc share of the total online advertising market.

The biggest spenders in the display market are the finance and retail sectors (14pc) followed by telcos (11pc), the auto industry (10pc) and FMCG (9pc).

Looking to the year ahead, the report suggests digital remains the top-ranking area of spend by marketers in 2015, with 28pc of marketers planning to dedicate between 20pc and 50pc of their budget to digital.

“The digital advertising industry in Ireland continues to show very strong growth, which reached 29pc in 2015 year-on-year,” said Kieran Little, strategy manager at PwC Ireland.

“We are seeing significant focus by advertisers on mobile advertising and strong growth in digital display, driven by video-on-demand, social media and native advertising.”

Online ad spend in Ireland 2015 (infographic)


Main image via Shutterstock


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