Mobile adspend continues its upward trajectory, according to latest PwC / IAB Ireland study

05 April, 2017

  • Total digital adspend is now at a record high of €445m, reflecting year-on-year growth of 31% for 2016, compared to 29% for 2015
  • Mobile adspend reaches €231m for the year ended 2016, reflecting growth of 63% over 2015
  • PwC predicts 16.5% growth on average per year in Irish digital adspend between 2015 and 2020

The latest PwC / IAB Ireland Online Adspend Study launched today. The study, for the year ended December 2016, reveals a growth of 31% for the Irish digital advertising market. This represents a total digital spend of €445m, comprising €231m on mobile and €214m on desktop. Consumers are increasingly accessing the internet via mobile first, and advertisers are allocating their digital budgets accordingly.

Nuala Nic Ghearailt, Manager, PwC, said: “The digital advertising sector in Ireland continues to show very strong growth. Mobile is clearly outstripping desktop spend. The main areas of growth are search, native, social media and video advertising”.

Suzanne McElligott, CEO, IAB Ireland, said: "Digital is now recognised as the number one advertising channel in the Irish market. With this remarkable growth over recent years, the digital advertising industry is entering a phase of maturity. This brings recognition of responsibility to both consumers and advertisers.”

The IAB has been working with PwC since 1997 to survey the value of online adspend in Europe and North America.

Digital advertising formats (desktop and mobile combined)

Display advertising showed the highest growth rate at 44%, which represented €197m in 2016. In that category, social media saw a growth of 133%, with a spend of €114m in 2016. This was up from €49m in 2015.

Video advertising grew by 91% to reach a spend of €47m in 2016, reflecting a strong commitment to this format from advertisers. Native advertising saw a spend of €82m in 2016. This was up from €45m in 2015, representing a growth of 82%.

The dominant digital format is still Paid-for-Search advertising, which grew by 25% in 2016 over 2015. At €219m, it has a 49% share of total digital adspend.

Classified advertising online holds a 6% share of total online adspend at €29m in 2016.

Programmatic trading

For the first time, Adspend participants (publishers and adnetworks) reported the percentage of display adspend that is being traded programmatically in the Irish market.

This refers to the use of automated processes and systems in the buying and selling of advertising inventory. In 2016 it amounted to 33% of display adspend with publishers and adnetworks.

Irish mobile adspend

Reflecting the global growth trend in Mobile Adspend, the Irish market experienced a 63% growth in mobile advertising to €231m in 2016. Mobile now constitutes 52% of the total digital advertising spend in Ireland.

Mobile search accounts for 55% of total mobile spend, with mobile display advertising representing a 44% share. Classified advertising holds a 1% share of mobile adspend.

Key drivers for growth

The growth of digital consumption is a key driver for growth in digital adspend. 80% of Irish adults now use smartphones, which is up from 75% in 2015.

61% of Irish adults spend more than 4 hours a week consuming video streaming content, and 59% of 15 - 24 year olds watch more video on demand (VOD) than TV.

Digital ranked as the top area for marketing spend in 2016 by 73% of the respondents to the Alternatives / MII Sentiment Survey 2016. 28% of Irish marketers planned to dedicate between 21% and 50% of their marketing budget to digital in 2016.


Notes to editor:

About IAB Ireland

IAB Ireland is the trade association for the Irish online advertising industry. As a not-for-profit organisation IAB Ireland works with members to ensure marketers can identify the best role for online in building their brands. IAB Ireland is licensed by IAB US and is a member of the IAB Europe network.

The IAB network shares three core objectives, namely to; prove, promote and protect the online advertising industry. These objectives are fulfilled through the dissemination of authoritative research, the organisation of educational events and by promoting industry-wide best practice.


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Contact us

Nuala Nic Ghearailt

Manager, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: +353 1 792 7891

Johanna Dehaene

Corporate Communications, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: +353 1 792 6547

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