Interactive Advertising Bureau
12 June 2024

5 Industry Insights on the 2023 AdEx Benchmark Report

The 2023 AdEx Benchmark Report from IAB Europe offers a comprehensive look into the digital advertising ecosystem, showcasing impressive growth and emerging trends. We’ve gathered insights from five industry experts to delve deeper into what these findings mean for the digital advertising landscape. Here’s what they had to say:

Dr. Daniel Knapp, Chief Economist, IAB Europe

"Digital advertising defied all odds in 2023 and grew by 11.1%. This can be attributed to improving interest rates and economic stabilisation, which have given advertisers greater confidence. While many remained cautious, there was an increased recognition of the need for sustained spending as brands looked to rebuild their presence and maintain a share of voice in the market. This period also saw the return of new companies and SMEs entering the market. As businesses have transformed to become increasingly digital, advertising has evolved from a siloed function to an integral part of overall marketing strategies, helping to fuel 2023 growth."

Dr. Daniel Knapp highlights how economic stabilisation has bolstered advertiser confidence, driving growth despite a cautious market. The digital transformation of businesses has made advertising a core part of marketing strategies, contributing significantly to the sector's expansion.

Townsend Feehan, CEO, IAB Europe

"The 2023 AdEx Benchmark Report reveals robust growth across several key formats, highlighting key dynamic shifts and expanding opportunities in the digital advertising landscape. Social advertising's impressive 18.2% growth reflects the increasing engagement and effectiveness of social platforms in reaching diverse audiences. Video advertising's significant 20.9% growth, especially its 15.0% rise outside social platforms, underscores its critical role in the display ecosystem. Emerging channels such as audio advertising and Retail Media are contributing significantly to the overall rapid growth of our industry, offering brands more opportunities to innovate and connect with audiences in meaningful ways."

Townsend Feehan emphasises the rapid growth in social and video advertising, noting their effectiveness in reaching diverse audiences. She also points to the rise of emerging channels like audio advertising and Retail Media as key drivers of innovation and connection in the industry.

Thomas Duhr, Executive Committee Member & Chairman of the IAB Europe Board

"IAB Europe’s AdEx Benchmark has reached a stage of legacy, with the 18th edition marking an important step in the long-term success story of digital advertising. The latest IAB Europe AdEx Benchmark Report reveals an inspiring story of resilience and innovation in the digital advertising market. Despite economic turbulence, and the looming challenges of privacy concerns and a world without third-party cookies, the market grew by an impressive 11.1% in 2023, showing the continued importance of digital investment to brands. This growth, driven by dynamic central and eastern European markets including Turkey, Serbia, and Ukraine, and emerging formats such as digital audio and video, showcases the industry's adaptability and forward-thinking nature. It's a testament to advertisers' renewed confidence, publishers adapting to innovative new strategies, and the creative potential that the industry continues to offer to drive the future of digital forward."

Thomas Duhr celebrates the report as a testament to the industry's resilience and innovation. Despite economic and privacy challenges, the market's growth underscores the importance of digital investment, driven by dynamic markets and emerging formats.

Anastasiya Baydachenko, CEO, IAB Ukraine

"The Ukrainian economy and its digital economy are going through difficult times. More than 10 million people were forced to leave the country. The supply of labor resources in the Ukrainian market is extremely difficult now. This is connected, firstly, with the migration of highly qualified personnel from abroad with the beginning of a full-scale invasion, and secondly, with the demographic gap, which statistically now falls on university graduates. Despite this, the digital industry shows growth in national currency thanks to a long tail of small and medium-sized businesses that actively use the advertising tools of global players as well as through the budget reallocation from classic non-digital media, from TV to CTV and YouTube. Global advertisers are returning to advertising campaigns much better than last year, but not all have returned to their usual advertising activities, compared to the pre-war period."

Anastasiya Baydachenko sheds light on the resilience of Ukraine's digital economy amid severe challenges. Growth has been driven by SMEs and the reallocation of budgets from traditional to digital media, with global advertisers gradually returning to the market.


Burak Ertaş, Chairman, IAB Türkiye

"Turkey's digital advertising market has been consistently ranking in the top 10 in Europe and has seen the fastest growth for the last two years. With a growth rate of 50%, adjusted for inflation, it's clear that digital advertising is booming in Turkey. According to Kantar Media, there's been a significant increase of over 9% in the number of companies advertising digitally from 2022 to 2023. Interestingly, this rise happened while the total number of advertisers across all platforms remained almost the same. This suggests that more advertisers are shifting their investments from traditional to digital platforms. This trend indicates that Turkey's digital advertising market is expanding, fueled by both existing digital advertisers increasing their budgets and new advertisers entering the scene. Moreover, Turkey's e-commerce volume soared by 115% in 2023 compared to the previous year, with transactions increasing by 22%. This rapid growth in e-commerce is another driving force behind the increased investments in digital advertising. Gemius, Turkey's monthly top 100 advertisers report, also confirms that e-commerce platforms and the retail sector are the leading digital advertisers in the country."

Burak Ertaş highlights Türkiye’s impressive digital advertising growth, driven by a shift from traditional to digital platforms and a booming e-commerce sector. The market's expansion is fueled by increased budgets from existing advertisers and new entrants.

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