Feature Article

October 08, 2013

UK Sees Sharp Growth in Mobile Advertising, New Study Finds

How much time do you spend online? Have you ever bothered to check? If you live in the U.K., you spend one out of 12 waking minutes online each day. This number is eyebrow-raising, but it’s also great news to online advertisers, who are taking advantage of the number of eyeballs on the Internet.

The study, conducted by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), also found that U.K. companies increased the amount spent on Internet, smartphone and tablet advertising by 17.5 percent year on year to £3.04 billion ($4.89 billion) in the first half of 2013. This comes out to £66 ($106) of digital advertising targeted at each Internet user in the UK annually.

Industry analysts credit smartphones and tablets for the enormous rise in the amount of time people spend online today. Once tethered to a PC in order to surf, consumers all over the world are reading the news or e-books, emailing, chatting, checking the weather, surfing the Internet, engaging in social media and even paying their bills on their mobile devices regardless of where they are located. In fact, in the U.K., ad spending growth for the mobile sector grew 127 percent in the first six months. Today, mobile advertising represents 1 4.1 percent of all digital advertising spent. It may still seem like a small number, but consider that it’s nearly double the 7.2 percent for the same period last year.

"With smartphone penetration crossing the two-thirds [of the U.K. population] landmark and the successful roll out of 4G, 2013 could be the year when advertising spend on mobile crosses the £1bn threshold,"  IAB director of research and strategy Tim Elkington told The Guardian.

The most ad money is being spent in the consumer goods sector, which nearly doubled its share in a single year, jumping from 14.5 percent to 26.8 percent in the first half of 2013, the report found. Consumer goods jumped ahead of the entertainment and media, which represents a 22.9 percent share of mobile display ads.

The roll-out of 4G networks is also credited with boosting the amount of money spent on mobile advertising.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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