People watching videos on their mobile phones is driving large growth in UK internet advertising

William Turvill
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UK internet advertising grew at its fastest rate in nine years in 2016, buoyed by mobile video viewing.

A record high of £10.3bn was spent on online adverts last year, up 17.3 per cent, according to a report out today.

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) UK and PwC Digital Adspend report found the growth was driven by short video clips, TV programmes and films being watched on mobiles.

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Mobile video ads were the fastest-growing format, more than doubling in size to £693m.

The researchers highlighted YouGov data showing that, in the last six months, 54 per cent of British smartphone users watched video clips on their phone, with two in five saying they do more of this than a year ago. Some 17 per cent had watched TV programmes and 11 per cent films.

“People are increasingly using their smartphones to watch more clips, programmes and films,” said IAB UK chief marketing officer James Chandler.

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“Consequently, as companies have to follow what the industry calls ‘eyeballs’ to get their ads in front of people, they have to allocate more budget to mobile and online video as that’s where people are spending more time.”

The report found video advertising was up 56 per cent overall and 103 per cent on mobile only. Social media advertising spend was up 38 per cent, content and native advertising was up 28 per cent and search was up 15 per cent.

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