Interactive Advertising Bureau
12 June 2024

5 Key Takeaways from IAB Europe's 2023 AdEx Benchmark Report

IAB Europe has just released its 2023 AdEx Benchmark Report, and it's packed with insights into the booming digital advertising market in Europe. Despite economic and geopolitical challenges, the sector has demonstrated impressive resilience and growth. Here are five key takeaways from this year's report:

1. Staggering Growth in Digital Ad Spend

Europe's digital advertising market grew by an impressive 11.1% in 2023, reaching an all-time high of €96.9 billion. This growth rate outpaces that of the US, which saw a 7.3% increase. This places Europe in a strong position, showcasing the region’s ability to thrive even in challenging times. 

2. Concentration in Major Markets

The bulk of digital ad spending is concentrated in five key markets: the UK, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy, which together account for 69% of the total spend. However, there's notable double-digit growth in 13 other European markets. Central and Eastern European countries like Turkey, Serbia, and Ukraine are leading this charge, with Turkey experiencing a phenomenal 50% growth.

3. Explosion in Video, CTV, and Audio Ads

Video advertising saw a 20.9% surge, with a 15.0% rise outside social platforms, underlining its importance in the display ecosystem. Audio advertising also boomed, with a 23.1% increase driven by a 32.5% rise in podcast popularity. Connected TV (CTV) is another standout, with a 23.5% growth rate, outpacing other non-social video formats.

4. Maturing Programmatic Market

Programmatic advertising remains dominant, accounting for 51.9% of total display ads. However, growth in this segment is maturing as budgets shift towards new channels like CTV and Retail Media. This shift is also influenced by privacy concerns and the impending phase-out of third-party cookies, pushing the industry to explore alternative solutions.

5. Retail Media Emergence

Retail Media has emerged as a significant player in the digital advertising ecosystem, attracting considerable investment. As traditional retail and e-commerce continue to blend, advertisers are finding new opportunities to reach consumers directly on retail platforms, driving growth and innovation in this space.

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