Digital advertising expenditure on mobile platforms has been the dominant contributor for the industry’s overall growth in the UK, specifically in the paid search and display channels.

Media investment management company, Group M, discovered mobile display is ascending sharply. By the end of 2013, the channel is expected to amass £300 million in spend, twice the £150 million of 2012. For 2014, £480 million is predicted.

According to the This Year, Next Year report, mobile paid search was up from £365 million in 2012 to £800 million in 2013. The same gains are not likely to continue into 2013 though, with just £1.4 billion forecasted.

Mobile driving paid search

Paid search’s overall growth may be being propped up by mobile spend in recent times, but Group M Futures director Adam Smith says it has seen some significant increases in the last five years.

“UK paid search has doubled in size since 2008 in cash terms and as a share of all UK marketing investment,” Smith said.

“Smartphones, tablets and e-commerce sustain this momentum. We think mobile (including tablets) will furnish 70% of paid search investment growth this year and all of it next year.”

Display growing into 2014

Group M’s net figures for paid search have the channel’s year-on-year growth as 17% to 2013’s £6.1 billion, with £7 billion forecasted for 2014. Display is expected to reach £1.5 billion in 2014, up from £1.4 billion the year prior and 2011’s £1.2 billion.

Telecoms is the big winner in the battle of the verticals. Between September 2012 and August 2013 it has risen by 44% to £164 million. The only category to see more of an increase was the 45% in electronic and household appliances.

Across the board, measured media ad spend in the UK will grow by 7% and is double the rate predicted by Group M six months previously, making it among the world’s largest mature economies.