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First results of AdEx Benchmark 2014 presented at Interact

European Online Advertising reaches a landmark €30.7bn after five consecutive years of double digit growth

2014, a very positive year for digital advertising in Europe

At the 9th edition of its annual Interact conference IAB Europe today announced that online advertising grew 11.6% to a market value of €30.7bn in 2014.

The AdEx Benchmark research – the definitive guide to the state of the European online advertising market – revealed that online advertising achieved double digit growth for a fifth consecutive year.

All markets participating in the study recorded positive growth and twenty markets grew double-digit. Mobile and video ad spend continued on their strong growth curves and are now a significant proportion of display and search ad spend.

Townsend Feehan, CEO of IAB Europe, commented “The AdEx Benchmark results highlight the importance of digital advertising for growth in Europe’s economy. We need to ensure that digital advertising enables the European digital sector to compete across the world.”

Display, Search and Classifieds

The IAB Europe AdEx Benchmark study splits the online ad market into 3 broad segments: 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 with a growth rate of 15.2% and the pace of Display growth further accelerated versus 2013. In 2014, the total value of the Display ad market was €10.9bn.

Search showed growth of 10.8% – and a market value of €14.7 billion. It continues to be the largest online advertising format in terms of revenue, but has recorded a deceleration in its growth rate in the last three years.

The 2014 Classifieds and Directories market grew 5.8% to €4.9bn showing growth of 5.8%. Classifieds & Directories benefitted from the improvement in the economy, but is increasingly challenged by Paid-for-search and Data-driven Display to compete for advertising budgets.

Mobile and video are driving growth

Mobile now accounts for 17.7% of the display market, with a growth rate of 72.5% compared with 2013.

Online video advertising also showed strong growth, now representing 15.1% of the display market.

Eleni Marouli, a Senior Analyst at IHS and author of the report, “The sustained double-digit growth in online advertising in the last five years demonstrates the continual evolution of the online advertising market. The two formats driving this growth in 2014 were mobile and video. The rise of mobile and video is a reflection of the investment and innovation of the online advertising industry to meet advertiser needs, not just a reaction to shifts in consumption trends”

Regional and national pictures

Daniel Knapp, Director of Advertising Research at IHS Technology and author of the research, said, “Our study shows that even the most mature online advertising markets in Europe sustain double digit growth, clearly indicating the economic vibrancy of the sector. This growth is primarily enabled by the proliferation of intelligent data infrastructures. Data is the growth engine behind advertising that serves as a connective tissue between consumers, media and brands.”

The CEE region grew strongly as online advertising is still benefitting from the improvements in broadband infrastructure and the increase in broadband penetration in these markets, which brings more addressable audiences online. However, growth in European online advertising continues to be driven by the most mature online advertising markets in Europe. This is a direct result of investment in formats and targeting capabilities and developing data strategies in a cross-device environment.

As Europe exits the double-dip recession, advertising markets will benefit from increased optimism from brands. Provided that publishers continue to improve their offerings, online advertising spend is well-placed to be the main beneficiary of the larger advertising budgets. Mobile and video will be the primary areas of interest for these brands.

The top 10 list of markets are as follows. Top 3 Individual growth markets were:

  1. Slovenia 43.1% growth
  2. Ireland 33.3%.growth
  3. Belarus 32.8%growth

Top 10 Rankings

  1. UK – €8.9bn
  2. Germany – €5.4bn
  3. France – €3.7bn
  4. Italy – €1.9bn
  5. Russia- €1.8bn
  6. Netherlands – €1.5bn
  7. Sweden – €1.0bn
  8. Spain – €0.9bn
  9. Denmark – €0.7bn
  10. Norway – €0.7bn

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