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UK Digital Advertising set to Surpass £20 Billion in 2019
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UK Digital Advertising set to Surpass £20 Billion in 2019


Growth forecast is expected to be stable coming into 2019 due to high levels of digital advertising investment.

Digital advertising in the UK is expected to surpass the £20 billion mark for the first time, increasing to £20.8 billion in 2019, according to the latest media and marketing forecast from GroupM.

The media investment group found that the UK is set for stable growth due to the high levels of digital advertising investment in the country (60% of all UK advertising investment comes from digital), despite growth being lower than expected – with 2019 growth forecast cut to 4.8% from 5.1%.

Looking at growth across advertising mediums, pure-play internet increased 11% in 2018 and is expected to continue growing by 9% in 2019. TV advertising was forecast low with just 1% growth expected in 2019.  


Year Over Year Percentage Change

Media yoy % change




Media Category








Radio spot




National newsbrands




Regional newsbrands




Consumer magazine brands




B2B magazine brands












Pure-play internet








Table courtesy of GroupM.

According to global measurement company Nielsen, ‘share deals’ remain the principal trading mode in UK TV, which advertisers value for its tolerance of short-run budget revisions but mixed modes of airtime are becoming more routine as trading embraces more audience falling outside Broadcaster’s Audience Research Boards’ (BARB) ‘Gold Standard’
Print media continues to shrink, with newspapers (national and regional) plus magazines collectively shedding about 1.5 share points a year. In 2017, news brands contributed 12.5% of all ad investment and in 2018 11.1%, with 2019 estimated to drop to 9.8%.
Meanwhile, radio is holding its audience and enjoying rising demand, with GroupM forecasting radio spot advertising revenue to rise 10% in 2018 and 7% in 2019. 
It is also expected that radio owners will book about £500 million in spot revenue in 2018. This does not include digital and streaming revenues, which are an unmeasured mix of static and dynamic activity, and therefore hard to estimate. The annual run-rate is predicted to be above £100 million.

“Collaboration and measurement remain key topics for the UK alongside Brexit and GDPR in our advertising forecast for 2019, but in a sea-of-change advertising investment stays buoyant reaching unprecedented levels,” said Tom George, CEO at GroupM UK; “It’s encouraging to see the industry pulling together to create new and improved investment propositions. GroupM is highly engaged with all of these efforts to ensure our clients continue to effectively engage consumers.”

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Mustafa Mirreh

Mustafa Mirreh

Mustafa is a senior journalist at PerformanceIN. Reporting on the latest day-to-day news and updates from the world of performance marketing, while also doing social media promotion, live reporting of events, article features and interviewing key industry players.


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