Interactive Advertising Bureau
23 November 2016

Online advertising driven by mobile in H1 2016 to €18.6bn, latest AdEx Benchmark study reveals

Brussels 23 November -  IAB Europe, in collaboration with IHS Markit, has today published the AdEx Benchmark H1 2016 study. The data reveals that online advertising grew 13.4% to €18.6bn for the first half of 2016 from €16.4bn in H1 2015 and is expected to continue double-digit growth for the full year of 2016.

The AdEx Benchmark H1 2016 study reveals that mobile was central to the growth of online advertising across all formats; mobile display grew by 61.3% and mobile search by 57.3%. Mobile display was particularly prominent in the CEE region where it experienced a growth of more than 100%. The CEE region helped to drive the overall growth with an increase of 16.2% whilst the more mature markets in Western Europe experienced a growth of 13.1%.

Display advertising growth continues to outpace search[1]; display grew by 18.2% and search by 13.3%. Display reached nearly €7bn in H1 2016 representing 37% of total online advertising whilst search accounts for 47%. Indeed, in Central and Eastern Europe display experienced a 27.1% growth, the highest of all formats, suggesting an improvement in targeting, formats and data strategies for brand advertising.

The recent IAB Europe Attitudes to Digital Video Advertising research shows that nearly all stakeholders are now deploying some form of digital video advertising strategy, with over 90% of advertisers, media agencies and publishers claiming that they are using the channel. It is no surprise then that video advertising experienced a growth rate of 46% reaching €1.6bn.


Townsend Feehan, CEO of IAB Europe said:

The H1 2016 AdEx Benchmark study reveals that marketers are realising the potential of mobile as an important channel for brand advertising and demonstrates improvements in technology and formats.”

Eleni Marouli, Principal Analyst of IHS Markit said:

“Strong economic growth in all the European Big 5 for the first time since 2010, underpinned the surge in online advertising in H1 2016, lifting all formats up from H1 2015. Mobile was the key driver of growth in both search and display, accounting for one in three euros spent in Europe. IHS expects mobile to continue to play a primary role in European online advertising and to maintain growth at a double-digit level for FY 2016.”

Anne Goodman, Vice-Chair of the IAB Europe Board and SVP Sales Enablement, Ad Technology & Operations BBC Advertising, division of BBC Worldwide said:

Online video is key to the growth of online advertising as brand advertisers look to build brand awareness and publishers to provide engaging content for their users. Video will continue to expand its share of online display advertising as inventory supply increases.

Martin Stockfleth Larson, Chief Marketing Officer of Adform said:

The trend in Europe is completely in line with what we see globally. Brand advertising spend is moving online at a rapid pace, as a consequence of the modern consumer’s media behaviour towards mobile and connected devices. The growth in mobile, video and native will continue, as the advertiser will become smarter around data and automation.”

Joy Dean, Partnerships Director, UK & Western Europe of Widespace said:

“Consumers are spending much longer consuming content online via mobile, creating an even greater opportunity to connect, one-to-one, on these devices than ever before. Alongside this, the increased abundance of premium, rich media ad formats – in particular video formats that go beyond pre-roll, such as out-stream –  are pushing the shift and attracting brand ad spend that’s usually spent on more traditional channels, such as TV. We are excited to see how the market is beginning to think differently about mobile and mobile video as a branding tool.”

For more information, please contact:

Marie-Clare Puffett, IAB Europe (

The  AdEx Benchmark H1 2016 study can be downloaded 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 by shaping the regulatory environment, investing in research and education, and developing and facilitating the uptake of business standards. Together with its members – companies and national trade associations – IAB Europe represents over 5,500 organisations. The online advertising Industry is estimated to account for over a million jobs in Europe and contribute over EUR 100 billion to European GDP, and acts as an incubator of high-end data analytics and other digital skills that can then be deployed in the wider economy.

About IHS Markit

IHS Markit is a publically owned company head-quartered in London, with over 13,000 employees based in over 30 countries throughout the world. IHS Markit offers information, analytics and expertise to organizations around the world. They depend on our insights to help them make decisions about everything from day-to-day operations to long-term investments.

IHS Markit proposes to approach this research topic through the Technology, Media & Telecom division which will lead the project and includes experts on transmission infrastructure, transmission services, media management, telecommunications networks, media and devices.

IHS Markit Technology provides support to our customers in the areas of component, industrial, commercial and consumer technology, including applications and sales channels to consumer markets in media, advertising, data, voice and mobile.

About IHS Markit Technology’s Advertising Media Intelligence Service
IHS Advertising Media 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, IHS provides a unique, independent and objective view.


[1] Paid-for-search

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