Interactive Advertising Bureau
25 November 2015

IAB Europe Report: How online advertising enables the digital economy of the future

Online advertising is a key driver of the European digital economy that promotes business and economic growth and paves the way for broader digital sector innovation. This report illustrates this integral contribution of online advertising. Highlights of the report are:
  • €46 billion were invested in online advertising in Europe in 2014. Out of this sum, publishers active in Europe generated revenues €30.7 billion from online advertising, or 30.4% of all advertising revenue.
  • In terms of gross value added (GVA), a standard measure of the contribution to the overall economy similar to GDP, €22 billion are directly attributable to online advertising in the EU-28. Advertising includes a multiplier effect throughout the economy as Euros flow through supply chains (indirect effects) and as companies and their supplies hire and pay employees (induced effects). Considering these effects, the contribution of online advertising increases up to €113 billion.
  • Yet approaches which locate economic value only within the immediate value chain are underestimating the much broader economic contribution of advertising. Firms advertise because doing so leads to increased sales. These sales lead to economic activities outside of the advertising value chain. Incorporating these ripple effects increases the value of online advertising to 473 billion, or 5% of the overall economy (expressed in GVA) in the EU-28.
  • 0.9 million European jobs (or 0.4% of the EU-28 total) are directly supported by online advertising; this increases to 1.4m jobs if indirect and induced effects are considered, and to 5.4 million, or 2.5% of the EU-28 workforce, if broader ripple effects are taken into account.
  • Online advertising is an integral funding model for high-growth digital sectors in Europe. In 2014, 54% of all online video revenues in the EU-28 were generated by advertising. For the publishing industry, advertising is by far the most important source for funding journalistic content with 75% of all their online revenues coming from advertising. Similarly, the buoyant mobile content market depends on advertising. In 2015, paid-for app revenues have been replaced by advertising as the top revenue source.
  • Online advertising is an incubator for digital skills that rejuvenate a plethora of different industries. As advertising becomes increasingly data-driven and technology-centric, the sector is at the forefront of nurturing and hiring talent that possesses the skills to transform and future-proof other industries.

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