Smartphones and YouTube lead to digital advertising explosion

SPENDING on digital advertising in the UK rose by more than 12 per cent, as a boom in people connecting to the internet on smartphones led to an enormous rise in mobile adverts.

Research from PriceWaterhouse Coopers out today finds that spending on digital adverts hit £5.42bn in 2012, up £607m on the previous year.

The biggest areas of growth were mobile adverts – which more than doubled during the period – video advertising on websites such as YouTube, and social media services like Twitter and Facebook.

Mobile advertising accounted for more than half of the total rise in spending, up 148 per cent to £526m. It now makes up 10 per cent of digital advertising spend, against just 1.1 per cent three years previously.

“There’s simply so much buzz around mobile,” the Internet Advertising Bureau’s Tim Elkington said. “4G mobile broadband is enabling a new era of richer content consumption and tablets are being predicted to outsell PCs in 2013. This will help maintain mobile’s significant momentum in attracting both consumer attention and advertising pounds.”

Video advertising was the next fastest-growing area, up 46 per cent to £160m in the same year that Korean rapper Psy’s Gangnam Style became the first YouTube video to hit 1bn views.

Search advertising on websites such as Google remains the biggest area of spending, accounting for £3.2bn, while social media adverts rose 24 per cent to £328.4m.