Mobile leads digital advertising growth across Europe

A report from IAB Europe and IHS shows that mobile display is the fastest-growing digital advertising channel across Europe.

This headline finding is confirmation of a tipping point. Digital advertising is now bigger in Europe than TV ad spending, with Euro 36.2 billion spent online compared with Euro 33.2 million spent on TV.

The UK is by far the largest digital advertising market in Europe, with Euro 11.8 billion spent online in 2015. This is more than double the second biggest, Germany, where the spend came in at Euro 5.8 billion. The UK’s year-on-year growth of 16.8% also outperforms the European average of 13.1%.

The significance here is that mature e-commerce markets, such as the UK, are still showing signs of growth.

Breaking online advertising down into display, classified & directories and paid-for-search, the study finds that display – which includes PC-based and mobile banners, rich media and video formats – was not only the fastest growing in 2015- up 17.4% – but also has the biggest share at 46.7%.

Mobile display ad spend is 60% up on the previous year, outperforming desktop in all but two of the 27 markets analysed for the study. Mobile accounts for a quarter of the total display spend. Again, the UK leads the way, with mobile accounting for a 43% share of display spend.

Mobile is also growing in the paid-search category and accounts for 23% of the total paid search spend across Europe. Ireland is seeing the strongest growth here, up 50% year-on-year.

Looking ahead, IAB and IHS predict that online advertising will grow by 7.8% this year.

While the study does not offer any specific travel insights, it is a useful way to put into context the eye-watering amount of money that Priceline Group and Expedia Inc spend online. In their 2015 FYs, Priceline said its online advertising spend was $2.8 billion (Euro 2.5 billion) while Expedia spent even more at $3.3 billion (Euro 2.9 billion)

These figures are global and converted in dollars but it is safe to say that a fair proportion of this spend took place in Europe.

So if anyone is under any illusion about how important these two travel companies are in the online advertising ecosystem, their combined global online ad spend is equivalent to 15% of the amount spent across every vertical in every country in Europe.

Or how about Priceline and Expedia’s combined global online ad spend in 2015 was bigger than France’s.

Click here to read the press release, from where the study can be downloaded.

Related reading from Tnooz:
Executing on a marketing plan – hello, TV (April 2015)
Priceline Group spent $2.8 billion on online advertising in 2015 (Feb 2016)
Expedia spent $2.8 billion on marketing in 2014 (Feb 2015)

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Martin Cowen

About the Writer :: Martin Cowen

Martin Cowen is contributing editor for tnooz and is based in the UK. Besides reporting and editing, he also oversees our sponsored content initiative and works directly with clients to produce articles and reports. For the past several years he has worked as a freelance writer, specialising in B2B distribution and technology. Before freelancing, from 2000-2008, he was launch editor for, the first online-only B2B daily news service for the UK travel sector.



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  1. Vinay Chouhan

    Nice post Martin. Mobile is dominating the desktop/laptops in the field of digital marketing.


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