View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
  2. Networks
October 7, 2013

Mobile drives UK digital ad spend to £3bn in H1

Brits spent an average of 43 hours per month online

By CBR Staff Writer

The UK’s internet advertisement spending rose about one fifth during the initial six months of 2013 to £3bn, mainly fuelled by mobile video ads and social media marketing by brands, banking on indications of economic recovery, a new report reveals.

Brits spent an average of 43 hours per month online, making up 1 in every 12 waking minutes, the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) Digital Adspend report revealed.

Carried out by PwC, with UKOM-approved comScore consumer data, the report also revealed that over one third of UK internet time was mostly spent on entertainment and social networks/blogs account, with the mobile accounting for about 14% of overall digital spend.

The report noted that social networks and blogging currently account for 12% of overall internet time or one in every 7 minutes, which when opted together, account for over one third of Brit’s time online.


During the initial six months of 2013 (H1), smartphone ownership reached over two-thirds (68%) of the UK population, while the mobile advertising rose 127% to £429.2m.

Currently, mobile accounts for 14.1% of overall digital advertising spend, which is almost double the 7.2% for the corresponding period in 2012.

Content from our partners
Scan and deliver
GenAI cybersecurity: "A super-human analyst, with a brain the size of a planet."
Cloud, AI, and cyber security – highlights from DTX Manchester

IAB Research & Strategy director Tim Elkington said that nothing illustrates the internet as an entertainment platform better than the fact that over one in five minutes online is accounted for by entertainment, and that advertisers spent almost 1,300% more on mobile video than a year ago.

"With smartphone penetration crossing the two-thirds landmark and the successful roll out of 4G, 2013 could be the year when advertising spend on mobile crosses the £1 billion threshold," Elkington said.

Upon the launch of 4G networks, mobile video advertising mounted sharply by 1,260% to £23m during H1.

Overall mobile display advertising rose 195% to £150.5m, enabling the mobile to account for 20.4% of digital display advertising, while consumer goods was the highest financier on mobile display, 26.8% share, surpassing entertainment & media which remained at 22.9%.

PwC senior manager Anna Bartz said that the fact that consumer goods – such as food, clothing and jewellery – account for over one quarter of mobile display advertising shows how important brands regard smartphones as key to consumer buying behaviour.

"Mobile has moved on from being a communications or entertainment device to a bona fide retail one," Bartz said.

"It’s an interesting contrast to how dominant entertainment has become on ‘fixed’ devices such as computers and laptops."

During the period, display advertising, video advertising and social media reported respective rises of 23%, 86% and 53%, while paid-for search and classifieds also reported growth of 18.9% and 6.6% respectively.

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.