Mobile video ads were the fastest-growing ad format last year, and they helped to push overall digital advertising spend past the £10 billion barrier for the first time, according to the latest Digital Adspend report published by IAB and PwC.
Digital advertising soared by 17.3 per cent to £10.3 billion and was driven by the need of brands and advertisers to connect and engage with users consuming more and more content on mobile devices. Data from YouGov shows that smartphones now account for around 50 per cent of all UK Internet time, and the majority of users are watching video clips on these devices.
These trends are reflected in digital ad investment, as total spend on mobile campaigns saw an uptick of 50 per cent to reach £3.9 billion, while overall mobile investment represented over a third of all spend in the UK. Last year also saw mobile video ad spend double to £693 million, which indicates the importance of creative video production for brands.
“The rise in people consuming mobile and video content has accelerated digital’s growth rate to its highest level for nearly a decade,” IAB UK’s Chief Marketing Officer, James Chandler, said. “It’s impossible to ignore the issues the industry is facing at the moment, but digital never stands still, and these figures are a testament to the long-term strength and power of digital.”
These issues include concerns about brand safety, but Chandler said that the recent Google controversy will not have a long-term impact on digital advertising, as the fact that consumers are spending so much time online means that marketers will need to focus their efforts on engagement in digital spaces.
Video clips are particularly effective for reaching the younger generations, as 75 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds now watch short clips on their mobiles, though the trend is also common across the age spectrum, with six out of ten now viewing videos on mobile devices while on the go.
“Online video is becoming a bigger priority, providing an impactful and cost-effective incremental reach,” Sony Mobile’s Senior Digital Marketing Manager for Europe, Sebastien Bardin, added. “In particular, outstream video is great for engaging with our target audience in premium, trusted and viewable environments without disrupting their media consumption or being too intrusive.’