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IAB/PwC Research : Tablet ownership up 63pc as digital ad spend hits record 6.3bn

by on April 8, 2014 in Apps, Apps & Software, FaceBook, Gadgets, Google, iPhone, Lead story, LinkedIn, Metrics, Mobile, Mobile Marketing, Pinterest, Research, Tech, Twitter

  • Total UK digital ad spend up 15% year-on-year to £6.3bn in 2013
  • Mobile ad spend doubles to break £1bn mark; accounts for £1 in £6 of digital advertising
  • Tablet-dedicated ad spend up 400%
  • 6 in 10 tablet owners say it’s their “go to” home internet device

London, 8 April 2014: Over one in four British consumers now owns a tablet, as advertisers spent a record £6.3 billion in 2013 to reach people surfing the internet across an increasing array of devices, according to the latest Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) Digital Adspend report, conducted by PwC.

Over one third (36%) of people accessing the internet are now doing so via tablets, according to UKOM/comScore¹, as tablet ownership grew 63% year-on-year from 11.0 million to 17.9 million Britons in February 2014². Due to the proliferation of new devices, two-thirds of people online now access the internet using a PC/laptop and one other device – such as a smartphone or tablet¹.

Almost six in 10 (57%) tablet owners online say it’s their “go-to” device to surf the internet at home³. Two-thirds of owners (66%) say it’s easier to go online using a tablet. Almost two-thirds (65%) like to use them while watching TV.

Banking/finance is the area of people’s lives that would be most affected without the internet or mobile phone – cited by almost half (48%) of Britons online – followed by keeping up with current affairs (37%) and relationships with friends and family (35%).

IAB/PwC data shows that advertising on the internet and mobile phones overall increased, like-for-like*, by 15.2% or £853 million to £6.30 billion in 2013 – up from £5.45 billion in 2012.

Among media owners who submitted revenue figures to the IAB/PwC, tablet-dedicated advertising has grown over 400% to reach at least £34.4^ million in 2013; up from £6.8 million in 2012.

Mobile ad spend nearly doubles and crosses the £1bn barrier

With smartphones now accounting for over three quarters (76%)² of handsets, advertisers are continuing to invest more in mobile advertising. It grew, like-for-like, by 93% to £1.03 billion in 2013 from £529 million in 2012. Mobile now accounts for 16% of all digital advertising spend – £1 in every £6 – compared to 10% in 2012.

Social media advertising spend on mobile increased to £221.8 million in 2013. Across digital overall, social media advertising grew 71% to £588.4 million. Consequently, mobile now accounts for over one third (35%) of total digital social media advertising.

“Digital advertising continues to grow at impressive rates simply because marketers are becoming more responsive and savvy to the increasing ways people consume content across different devices,” says Tim Elkington, Director of Research & Strategy at the UK’s Internet Advertising Bureau.

“However, there’s still a lot of work for the industry to do when it comes to tablet advertising. Spend on ads designed specifically for tablets is growing fast but it’s still a very small part of the pie – despite the increase in tablet ownership, and the crucial role they play in people’s internet use at home. The tablet has moved from the offices of early adopters to the nation’s living rooms and advertisers should be following suit.”

Video becoming a bigger star

Video advertising grew by 62% year-on-year to £324.9 million. Video now accounts for 18% of all online and mobile display advertising.

Consumer goods increases dominance of display advertising

Driven by mobile display and video, the consumer goods sector continued its dominance as the biggest spender on digital display advertising, overall – accounting for 18% in 2013 compared to 16% in 2012.

Digital advertising formats

Boosted by video and social media, display advertising across the internet and mobile grew above the overall (15%) digital rate at 22% on a like-for-like basis to £1.86 billion.

With mobile display growing by 180% on a like-for-like basis to £432.4 million in 2013, mobile now accounts for 23% of total digital display advertising.

Paid-for search marketing increased 14% on a like-for-like basis to £3.49 billion.

Classifieds including recruitment, property and automotive listings, grew 9% like-for-like to £886.5 million – accounting for 14% of digital ad spend.

“Mobile’s huge rise is down to advertisers taking advantage of key developments in the way people use their mobile devices – particularly social media platforms,” says Dan Bunyan, Manager at PwC.

“Mobile is now more of a story-telling tool for advertisers rather than just an information device. Almost half of mobile ad spend is accounted for by TVs biggest advertiser categories – consumer goods and entertainment brands – which is testament to how important mobile has become for brands.”

*Methodology for like-for-like reporting:

To provide the most accurate like-for-like growth rates, only companies that submitted in 2012 and 2013 have been included in year-on-year growth calculations.

^Tablet-specific advertising only (i.e. not including internet advertising displayed on a tablet by default)

¹Source: UKOM/comScore, February 2014
²Source: comScore, MobiLens, UK, February 2014
³Source: YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2652 adults, of which 1359 were owners of a tablet computer. The survey was carried out online between 31/03/14 – 01/04/2014. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

For more information:

Alex Burmaster, Meteor Public Relations – T: 020 3544 3570

Harriet Gale, IAB UK – T: 0207 050 6957

Sian Mannakee, PwC – T: 020 7213 2538

About the Internet Advertising Bureau
The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) is the UK trade association for digital advertising, representing most of the UK’s leading brands, media owners and agencies. Given the rapidly evolving nature of the digital landscape, the IAB works to ensure that marketers can maximise the potential of digital media and mobile devices, helping members engage their customers and build great brands.

By disseminating knowledge and fostering dialogue through research, policy guidance, training and events, the IAB aims to be every marketer’s authoritative and objective source for best practices in internet advertising. To access the IAB’s current research, policy briefings, training opportunities and events schedule, please visit

About PwC
PwC helps organisations and individuals create the value they’re looking for. We’re a network of firms in 157 countries with over 184,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. Tell us what matters to you and find out more by visiting us at

About UKOM
UKOM is the UK governance body for online audience measurement. Its aim is to establish a trusted and effective system for online brand communications planning in the UK through stringent governance and industry education. UKOM ensures that its chosen data supplier comScore publishes the best data available, using methods that deliver accurate and technically-sound information, and keep pace with the market’s needs.

The organisation’s remit also includes educating brand advertisers, agencies and the media on the value of using accurate person-centric audience measurement to derive meaningful and actionable insight. UKOM is co-owned by the Internet Advertising Bureau and the Association of Online Publishers, and its board includes representatives from ISBA and the IPA. Visit

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