Internet dominance of UK advertising market forecast to reach 60 per cent next year

William Turvill
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In 2018, Zenith forecasts £11.1bn will be spent on internet advertising in the UK (Source: Getty)

The internet is set to dominate more than 60 per cent of the UK advertising market next year, new research suggests.

Zenith’s Advertising Expenditure Forecasts report, published today, predicts that £11.1bn will be spent on internet advertising in 2018. This is up from £10.7bn this year and more than double the £5.37bn spent in 2012 when it accounted for close to 40 per cent of the market.

Newspaper advertising is predicted to fall nine per cent from £1.33bn this year to £1.25bn, accounting for seven per cent of the market. Magazine advertising will also fall slightly to £445m.

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All other areas of advertising tracked by Zenith – TV, radio, cinema and outdoor/ transport – are due to grow, with the total forecast to increase from £17.98bn this year to £18.35bn.

In 2018, Zenith forecasts that the UK will be one of only three markets tracked where internet advertising’s share exceeds 60 per cent, with China and Sweden the others. Some 69 per cent of internet advertising is on mobile.

After years of outperforming the rest of Western Europe, the UK is expected to lag behind others in terms of advertising spend growth this year, up 0.9 per cent.

In explaining the slowdown, Zenith pointed to “a slowing economy, gathering inflation and political uncertainty over the mid-year elections and upcoming Brexit negotiations”.

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Globally, Zenith said advertising expenditure will grow 4.2 per cent to $559bn in 2017. This is down from 4.8 per cent growth in 2016.

“Global advertising budgets are rising steadily but cautiously, and are falling slightly behind overall economic growth,” said Zenith’s Vittorio Bonori.

“After a decade of cost-cutting since the financial crisis, we believe brands now need to focus on top-line growth. Our survey shows that brands are looking to data and technology as the main driver of business growth, closely followed by business transformation and new competitive positioning.”

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