Last year, mobile ad spend in the United Kingdom rose by 93%, reaching £1.03 billion, and made up 16% of the total digital ad market, the annual report by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) showed. In 2012, mobile ad spend accounted for 10% of the total digital ad spend.
The strong performance of the UK mobile market was driven mainly by social media, which currently makes up £221.8 million, or nearly 25%, of the total mobile ad spend. Total social media advertising saw a 71% year-on-year increase to £588.4 million, data from the report showed.
Nearly half of the total mobile ad spend came from the biggest advertiser categories on television – consumer goods and entertainment companies. This is a clear sign that mobile has become very important for brands, Dan Bunyan, manager at PwC, said.
Tablets registered the strongest rise, as ad spend for such devices skyrocketed 400% last year compared with the previous year. Yet, the report warns that the industry has a long way to go, as spending for tablets still represents just a small portion of the total.
Finally, figures showed that the overall digital ad market in Britain increased 15.2% last year to £6.3 billion. Excluding mobile, video advertisement was the second segment to report impressive growth, with 62%. This put video way ahead of display and paid-for search marketing, with 18% and 14%, respectively.
Commenting on the figures, Bunyan said that the robust growth of mobile could be attributed to the fact marketers are now understanding the way people communicate and use their smartphones and tablets with social media platforms in particular. Mobile is now a tool that enables marketers to tell a story and not just a device which provides information, he added.