Interactive Advertising Bureau
22 May 2017

IAB Europe Press Release - European Online Advertising continues double-digit growth and surpasses €40bn mark

Amsterdam, 23rd May 2017 – At its annual Interact conference today, IAB Europe announced that online advertising grew 12.2% in 2016 to €41.8bn establishing itself as the dominant advertising medium in Europe.

The AdEx Benchmark study is the definitive guide to the state of the European online advertising market and is now in its eleventh year. The research demonstrates 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 of IAB Europe, commented “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 at IHS Markit, said “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, added “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:

  1. Romania – 36.9%
  2. Slovenia – 32.2%
  3. Ireland – 31.4%

Top 10 Rankings

  1. UK – €14.2bn
  2. Germany – €5.9bn
  3. France – €4.2bn
  4. Russia – €2.6bn
  5. Italy -€2.3bn
  6. Netherlands – €1.7bn
  7. Spain – €1.6bn
  8. Sweden – €€1.6bn
  9. Belgium – €0.9bn
  10. Switzerland – €0.9bn

For more information, please contact:
Alison Fennah, IAB Europe (
Marie-Clare Puffett, IAB Europe (

You can download the results here

About IAB Europe

IAB Europe is the leading European-level industry association for the online advertising ecosystem. Its mission is to promote the development of this innovative sector and ensure its sustainability by shaping the regulatory environment, demonstrating the value digital advertising brings to Europe’s economy, to consumers and to the market, and developing and facilitating the uptake of harmonised business practices that take account of changing user expectations and enable digital brand advertising to scale in Europe.

About the AdEx Benchmark study

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.

Display includes PC-based and mobile banners, rich media and video formats.

See further explanatory note on data below. 

About IHS Markit Technology, Media & Telecom’s Advertising Intelligence Service

IHS Markit Advertising Intelligence Service provides its clients with a holistic and global view of a rapidly evolving advertising and marketing landscape. Developed and maintained by a team of expert analysts, it offers accurate, continuously updated market data, forecasts and reports that give our clients deep perspective on a dynamic advertising market. As the only global product that offers the same detail and scope for both established and emerging media we provide a unique, independent and objective view.

About IHS Markit (

IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO) is a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. The company delivers next-generation information, analytics and solutions to customers in business, finance and government, improving their operational efficiency and providing deep insights that lead to well-informed, confident decisions. IHS Markit has more than 50,000 key business and government customers, including 85 percent of the Fortune Global 500 and the world’s leading financial institutions.  Headquartered in London, IHS Markit is committed to sustainable, profitable growth.

IHS Markit is a registered trademark of IHS Markit Ltd. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners © 2017 IHS Markit Ltd. All rights reserved.

Explanatory note on IAB Europe/IHS Markit AdEx Benchmark figures

Each national IAB in Europe runs its own annual online advertising spending study and the IAB Europe AdEx Benchmark figures are based on these studies. As the methodology of the studies varies country by country, IAB Europe and IHS Markit have defined methodology rules to represent the figures in such a way as to make them realistically comparable. This involves:

  • Readjusting local figures to allow for harmonised representation. Readjustment rates are supplied by groups of local market experts
  • Estimating/harmonising ad spend data for certain formats or segments in certain countries where local IAB studies do not include data or the definition or scope of a format is substantially different from IAB Europe standardised segments
  • Where local data is collected in a currency other than Euros, the average exchange rate in 2016 has been used to convert this to Euros. To provide data for prior year growth rates, the prior year figures have also been re-calculated using a constant exchange rate in order eliminate currency effects.
  • AdEx Benchmark focuses on four normalised segments: ‘Display’ (including mobile display, rich media and video), ‘classifieds and directories’, ‘paid search’ and ‘other’ (including email but excluding email marketing).

Figures quoted are gross figures (i.e. net invoiced value of the media, plus agency commission if any).

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