Mobile Adspend Overtakes Desktop & Tablet For First Time With 56.1% Increase

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For the first time, total adspend on mobile has overtaken the amount spent on PC & tablet ads in the UK.

The PwC / Internet Advertising Bureau UK Digital Adspend report found that the amount spent on mobile display ads was £802m, rising above the total spend on PC and tablets, which came in at £762m.

This has happened because of the rapid growth of time spent on smartphones.

YouGov consumer data found that 82% of smartphone owners check their phone within an hour of waking up, and for 29% of 18-34s, checking social media is the first thing they do.

In the first half of 2016, total mobile ad spend, which includes search and classifieds, increased by 56.1%.

And now, 36p in every £1 spent on digital advertising goes to mobile, which is up from 4p just five years ago.

Speaking about the change, the IAB UK’s Chief Strategy Officer Tim Elkington said: “Mobile use today is more akin to a computer than merely a phone, as people increasingly rely on them as their information, entertainment and communications hub.

“People now spend more time online on their mobile than they do on a computer. Consequently, marketers devote more ad spend to mobile as they increasingly cotton on to the fact that people essentially carry an ad platform with them wherever they are.”


The fastest growing ad format was also found to be video, its total adspend growing 67% to £474m during the first half of 2016.

This was pushed by a massive 129% increase in mobile video spend.

Video now accounts for 30% of display advertising and 37% of mobile display, whereas outstream and in-read video ads – those appearing anywhere on the page – saw a massive 440% rise and now account for 40% of video spend.

Social media spend also saw a big increase, growing 43% to £745m, with mobile social media spend growing 64% alone.

In addition to this, overall paid-for search grew 18.1% to £2.49bn — making up a 52% share of digital ad spend.

Dan Bunyan, Senior Manager at PwC said: “The phenomenal rise of mobile search reinforces the idea of mobile as the ever-present ad medium.

“It means advertisers no longer have to wait to target people at specific ‘touchpoints’ during the day. Instead they can deliver highly relevant, localised ads with unprecedented immediacy, such as reacting to people reaching a specific place, looking for a particular product or even the weather changing.”

Find out more about the figures here.

Simon Edmunds

Simon is the former editor of Global Dating Insights. Born in Newcastle, he has an English degree from Queen Mary, London and after working for the NHS, trained as a journalist with the Press Association. Passionate about music, journalism and Newcastle United.

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