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Smartphone ad spend exceeded desktop in 2018, video is dominant format

In 2018, UK advertisers spent £13.44 billion on digital advertising, marking a 15% year-on-year increase.

According to the latest IAB UK and PwC Digital Adspend study released today, smartphone ad spend exceeded desktop for the first time, and in 2018 accounted for 51% of digital total ad spend (up from 45% in 2017).

Tim Elkington, Chief Digital Officer at the IAB UK, commented:

“Seeing mobile now account for over half of all digital ad spend is a significant milestone. In a decade of reporting these figures separately, we’ve seen spend rise from £38m in 2009 to a staggering £6.88bn in 2018.”

With people spending two-thirds of their online time on mobile devices, the latest figures are a solid reflection of this trend.

Video continues to be a dominant format on mobile and digital in general, accounting for 44% of total display. Outstream formats exceeded pre-roll video to reach 57% of all video advertising.

Banners (28%) and native (23%) were the second most popular display formats.

Importantly, 76% of all video spend is now coming form smartphones. Meanwhile, social revenue reached 23% of all digital spend.

The latest report also revealed that companies which were IAB UK Gold Standard certified outperformed the total display market showing a 30% year-on-year increase in ad spend compared to 22% overall.