Plenty of positive sentiments arose from the IAB’s latest review of digital ad spend in the UK, fuelled by a 27.5% year-on-year rise in budgets for display formats, which generated £1.31 billion in the first half of this year.

Among the rapidly-improving areas were video, which saw its total rise 56% to £292 million between H1 2014 and H1 2015, and social media, which invited a 51% increase to hit £574 million.  

Other key points included:

  • Total digital ad spend growth of 13.4% to £3.975 billion.
  • Growth of 51% for mobile, up to £1.08 billion and leading it to account for 27% of digital ad spend.
  • An increase of 115% on spend for tablet advertising amid murmurs of a decline in interest. 
  • A 50% rise in spend on native advertising/content marketing to £325 million.
  • Outstream video being measured for the first time, with spend calculated at £32 million.

For a wider view on the figures, here’s what our experts made of the IAB’s announcement:

Justin Taylor is the UK MD of video ad group Teads.

“For the first time ever outstream has been recognised as a distinct format within the IAB’s ad spend study. 

“Outstream formats such as inRead are vastly different to other kinds of video, and allow advertisers unique access to premium environments but also give publishers another way to commercially support their editorial content.

“The rise of outstream shows that the industry is turning to video ad formats that engage, not enrage consumers, which will be vital for spend on video to continue rising. Poor ad placements, invasive formats and non-skippable content have all driven millions of users to install ad blockers which are threatening publishers’ business models. By respecting the user with relevant, unintrusive content that they’re in control of, we can guarantee as an industry that spend on video will continue to grow.”

Helen Miall is head of marketing for EMEA at ad tech provider Turn.

“Mobile offers a massive opportunity to engage new and existing audiences. However, despite the temptation to throw investment towards mobile advertising, marketers first need to take a step back to identify their audiences and understand their behaviour. They can then figure out how to present content in a way that drives interactions with their ads, as the customer journey moves across all devices through the day.  
“How brands use and connect digital formats – from mobile and desktop right through to social media – will separate the winners from the losers. We know that the majority of UK smartphone users reach for their phones between 7am and 8am, and are 27 times more likely to click through on video ads versus standard banner ads, so utilising eye-catching videos will work well for brands.”

 Antoine de Kermel is the MD for EMEA at TV ad syncing specialists TVTY.
“These results show that the ferocious growth of mobile is not going to stop anytime soon. With more people accessing the web on the move, the opportunities for marketers to advertise to consumers in the moment is huge.
“Oreo set the world alight with its ‘dunk-in-the-dark’ tweet in 2013 and since then ‘moment marketing’ has become an increasing priority for brands. With consumers bombarded by so much advertising each day, it’s more important than ever for brands to react instantly and align digital campaigns with moments that matter most to the consumer.”

In addition to the above, Tim Elkington, chief strategy officer at IAB UK, added: “Recently, a lot of the attention on digital advertising has been around the challenges, such as ad blocking. 

“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. The fact remains, as consumers spend more time on connected devices, advertisers must increasingly direct their attention and budgets there.”

Was there anything you felt our experts missed? Let us know in the comments box.