Mobile ad spend overtakes desktop for the first time

26 Oct 201637 Shares

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80pc of Irish adults are now using smartphones, with Ireland ranking third out of 26 countries. Image: Loftflow/Shutterstock

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Mobile ad spend in Ireland has overtaken desktop-based ad spend for the first time, with the former rocketing by 67pc.

The latest IAB PwC Online Adspend Survey for H1 2016 shows that digital ad spend has reached an all-time high of €216m.

Of this, €108.5m has been spent on mobile while €107.5m was spent on desktop during the period.

‘Smartphones are increasingly being used as the main online device for users to access information, transact business, consume news and entertainment’
– SUZANNE MCELLIGOTT

According to IAB Ireland CEO Suzanne McElligott, advertising spend is following media consumption and, in this case, mobile ad spend is catching up with consumer engagement via smartphones.

The Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2016 shows that 80pc of Irish adults are now using smartphones, with Ireland ranking third out of 26 countries.

Smartphone usage is transforming the ad spend landscape

“Smartphones are increasingly being used as the main online device for users to access information, transact business, consume news and entertainment,” McElligott explained.

“It is very exciting to see Irish advertisers really embrace this platform, which is the first device consumers reach for in the morning and is with them wherever they go throughout the day.”

Display advertising had the highest growth rate among digital ad formats at 59pc, representing €94m in the first half of the year. Display now represents 43pc of total digital spend.

Mobile ads have overtaken desktop ads

Digital ad spend trends in Ireland during H1 2016

Paid-for-search advertising has grown by 21pc year-on-year and remains the dominant digital format, with a 50pc share of total digital ad spend at €108m.

Classified advertising online holds a 7pc share of total online ad spend, at €14m in the first half of 2016.

Within the display category, social media display saw a spend of €50.8m, up from €22m in H1 2015. Video advertising grew by 85pc, from €11m in H1 2015 to €20m in H1 2016, reflecting brand advertisers’ strong commitment to this format. Native advertising cross platform at €36.6m is now 39pc of total digital display in H1 2016.

Mobile search accounts for 58pc of total mobile spend, with mobile display advertising representing a 42pc share.

Finance (15pc) and retail (13pc) remain the largest advertising categories in display spend.

Mobile and video are key drivers for future

“One of the key drivers of mobile ad spend this year has been the continued growth in display advertising,” said Richard Phelan, strategy manager at PwC.

“It accounted for the majority of mobile growth and now represents over 40pc of mobile spend, up from 30pc last year.”

Digital was ranked the top area for marketing spend for Irish marketers in 2016, by 73pc of the respondents to the Alternatives/MII Sentiment Survey 2016. 28pc of Irish marketers will dedicate between 21pc and 50pc of their marketing budget to digital in 2016.

More than 61pc of Irish adults now spend more than four hours per week consuming video streaming content.

Video advertising is seen as a way to get to hard-to-reach audiences – 59pc of 15 to 24-year-olds watch more video on demand than TV.

As well as this, 24pc of adults visit a brand’s website after seeing a video while 20pc search online for the brand.

Looking ahead, PwC predicts 16.5pc per year growth in Irish digital ad spend between 2016 and 2020.

Advertising agencies are more buoyant, with Carat predicting a 25pc growth rate for digital in 2016 and Core Media forecasting a 23pc growth.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com