Total online advertising spending in Ireland hits €197m – 17pc of this is mobile

2 May 2014

Nuala Nic Ghearailt, business strategy consultant, PwC; and Suzanne McElligott, CEO, IAB Ireland

Total online advertising spend in Ireland has reached €197m, according to the latest Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) PwC Online Ad Spend Study. Mobile ad spend now accounts for 17pc of total online ad spending in Ireland.

IAB Ireland and PwC predict 15pc growth per year in Irish online ad spending up until 2016. This contrasts with the overall 1.2pc decrease in ad spend in other media (Nielsen).

Display advertising was the fastest-growing digital format on desktop, with an increase of 27pc year-on-year. Display now holds a share of 39pc of desktop ad spend with a spend of €64m and an increase of €13.6m on 2012.

Finance is the top spending category in desktop display spend with a category share of 15pc of display spend. Retail is in second position at 13pc, followed by FMCG at 12pc.

Paid-for search advertising has grown by 7pc year-on-year on desktop with a 44pc share of online ad spend at €71m.

Classified advertising online continued to perform strongly in 2013, holding a 17pc share of online ad spend at €28m. The top-spending category for digital classified advertising in 2013 is property/recruitment at 36pc, followed closely by Auto in second place at 35pc.

Looking to the rest of 2014 and into 2015, the study found 60pc of marketing managers in Ireland intend to grow their digital budgets (MC Squared/Amárach).

Media agencies Vizeum/Carat and Mindshare forecast a growth of 15pc for digital ad spend in 2014, with Core Media predicting a growth of 12pc in the next 12 months.

The rise of mobile advertising

According to the study, 86pc of Irish adults have access to digital devices that can be used to consume information “on the go”. Smartphone penetration is at 61pc, up from 50pc in 2013 (Eircom eHSS report). On average, smartphone and tablet owners spend three hours a day online browsing personal interests.

In 2013, mobile ad spend reached €34m, with mobile search accounting for 72pc of total mobile spend and mobile display advertising accounting for 28pc.

FMCG is the top-spending category on mobile display, accounting for 18pc of spend, finance and retail are joint second, with a 13pc share each.

Carat predicts a 100pc growth in mobile advertising in 2014 for the Irish market as there is still a considerable gap to be bridged between high smartphone/tablet adoption with a significant lag in mobile ad spend.

“The growth in digital ad spend is driven by advertisers’ recognition of the increasing ways users consume content across devices,” the chief executive of IAB Ireland Suzanne McElligot said.

“Multiscreening is now the norm for media consumption and smartphone penetration in our market at 61pc outperforms the EU average.

“Ireland also outperforms the UK market in tablet ownership, with 40pc tablet penetration in Ireland compared to 36pc in the UK,” McElligot added.

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