IAB’s AdEx Benchmark: European Online Advertising continues double-digit growth and surpasses €40bn mark

Advertising, Digital & Media, Marketing, Studies

IAB Europe announced on May 23rd, at the annual Interact conference, hat online advertising grew 12.2% in 2016 to €41.8bn establishing itself as the dominant advertising medium in Europe.

The AdEx Benchmark study, a definitive guide to the state of the European online advertising market, reached its 11th year and shows that online advertising continues to surpass TV advertising. All markets participating in the study recorded positive growth, a total of twenty markets grew double-digit for the third year running (three markets recording 30%+ growth. Mobile continues to drive the growth with both mobile display and mobile search seeing 50%+ growth in 2016. Mobile dominates across all markets with a 100%+ growth rate in some markets.

Mobile display now accounts for €5.4bn and continues to grow its share of the display market to 33.3%, with a growth rate of 53.3% compared with 2015.

Video which is considered as a key channel for delivering brand advertising campaigns, according to IAB Europe’s Attitudes to Digital Video Advertising report, continues to experience strong growth to a share of 18.2% of the total display market.

Townsend Feehan, CEO IAB Europe:

A thriving digital ecosystem for Europe depends on advertising and the eleventh AdEx Benchmark study demonstrates its continued importance to the economy. As an industry, we must continue to highlight this contribution, promote European innovation and empower our businesses to provide users with the experiences they demand.

The IAB Europe AdEx Benchmark study divides the online ad market into three categories: Display, Search and Classifieds and Directories. Growth in these online advertising formats has been underpinned by shifting uses in devices and changing consumption patterns.

Display advertising outperformed other categories for the third year in a row with a growth rate of 13.8% and a value of nearly €16bn.

Search continues to be the largest online advertising category in terms of revenue with a growth of 12.9% and a market value of €19.1bn. It continues to be the largest online advertising format in terms of revenue.

Daniel Knapp, Senior Director TMT IHS Markit:

Mobile and video are the powerhouses driving the European online advertising market as we enter a post –desktop banner advertising world. The rules and practices of online advertising have changed with these new formats and screens gaining ground, and our study shows that marketers’ and publishers’ efforts to innovate both in terms of measurement, delivery, targeting, and creative are paying off. At the same time, our 2016 data shows that search and classifieds & directories have entered a period of rejuvenation with accelerating growth rates. Classifieds & directories is fueled by industry consolidation and search benefits from better adoption of mobile and maps as search interfaces.

Qingzhen Chen, Senior Analyst at IHS Markit:

In 2016, CEE markets contributed more to European industry growth than ever before. We saw eight countries in the region grow above 15%. Markets like Poland, Czech Republic and Turkey are also among the leaders in mobile and video advertising. At the same time, mature Western European markets remain in healthy shape, with the UK and key Nordic markets growing above European average despite their already high online ad spend per capita.

Top 3 Individual growth markets were:

  • Romania – 36.9%
  • Slovenia – 32.2%
  • Ireland – 31.4%

Top 10 Rankings

  • UK – €14.2bn
  • Germany – €5.9bn
  • France – €4.2bn
  • Russia – €2.6bn
  • Italy -€2.3bn
  • Netherlands – €1.7bn
  • Spain – €1.6bn
  • Sweden – €€1.6bn
  • Belgium – €0.9bn
  • Switzerland – €0.9bn

The data has been compiled by IAB Europe based on information provided by the national IAB offices around Europe. It is then processed and analysed by IHS Markit. The report includes market size and value information for 2016 for the following markets: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Romania, Russia, Spain, Slovakia, Serbia, Turkey, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. The data represents the calendar year 2016 January- December. This is the eleventh AdEx Benchmark study which began in the calendar year 2006.