Display advertising has taken its largest ever share of UK digital ad budgets in H1 courtesy of a 27.5% year-on-year increase in spend.

The announcement, based on stats from the IAB, comes as the display advertising industry faces criticism over its ability to weather a reported surge in ad-blocker usage.

Video ad spend saw growth of 56%, up to accounting for 22% of display, while social media spend rose 51% and native/content-based ad revenue increased 51%.

It’s mobile that’s driving the majority of growth in digital ad spend as a whole, however, with ad budget sent to smartphone and tablet devices increasing 51% and accounting for nearly 80% of the rise in digital ad revenue.  

Engine of growth

Mobile now constitutes 39% of display ad spend, leading PwC’s Dan Bunyan to brand it as “unquestionably the engine of digital growth”.

While the digital advertising industry has recently been subject to heavy debate around the challenges it faces – ad blockers included – in the UK it continues to maintain strong revenue growth, remarks IAB UK’s Tim Elkington.

“Recently, a lot of the attention on digital advertising has been around the challenges, such as ad blocking,” the Bureau’s chief strategy officer commented.

“However, it’s clear to see the UK digital advertising industry is maintaining its strong revenue growth at a much greater rate than the overall economy.”

Too soon to celebrate?

While there’s still plenty of room for growth, with mobile accounting for 40% of time spent on the internet compared to less than a third of total ad spend, the threat of ad blockers may not be out of the picture just yet.

In-app advertising has been considered an area of relative immunity for advertisers, but this could be about to change as a result of Been Choice, an app which allows users to block advertisements from being seen on other mobile apps, being released in the US.

You can catch up on featured viewpoints from PerformanceIN’s Ad-Blocker Week (Sep 28 – Oct 2) here.