Digital advertising in Europe - statistics & facts

Europe’s advertising landscape has undergone a fundamental digital transformation in recent years. Thanks to rising internet penetration rates and the ever-expanding demand for online media content, European companies now vividly focus their attention and advertising budgets on digital promotion. The United Kingdom, Germany, and France ranked among the 10 leading digital ad markets worldwide in 2020, and while North America and the Asia-Pacific region remain by far the largest spenders on internet advertising, Europe has certainly not missed the digital advertising train. The future of Europe’s advertising scene will likely be digital, but with that said, Western Europe is undeniably rushing ahead.

What are the top digital advertising formats in Europe?

Display remains the top digital ad format in Europe. In 2020, almost 32 billion euros were invested in display ad formats, which marked an annual increase of nearly 10 percent and represented a total digital ad spend share of around 43 percent. That year, industry players in the UK allocated over 8.8 billion euros towards display ads, which was more than Germany and France - the next largest markets - spent collectively. In 2021, these three countries also recorded the highest digital video ad spend in Europe. Video attracts and retains online user interest like few other formats, which explains why companies in the UK, Ukraine, the Netherlands, and Italy invest more than half of their display ad budgets towards video campaigns. Meanwhile, search advertising spending is also hitting new peaks, with a record 30 billion euros invested in 2020. As advertisers constantly aim to streamline ad buying processes and maximize campaign effectiveness, Europe is also becoming an increasingly competitive programmatic ad market, valued at almost 30 billion U.S. dollars.

Mobile and social media drive digital ad spend

As an ever-increasing share of internet traffic is generated via smartphones and tablets, mobile advertising has become an essential tool for companies throughout Europe. In 2020, approximately 44 percent of European ad spend was devoted to mobile ad campaigns, and according to the latest forecasts, about one in two digital ad euros will flow towards mobile by 2023. The share of mobile in digital ad spend is exceptionally high in Russia, Austria, and Romania, whereas countries like Turkey and Poland demonstrated the most impressive mobile ad spend growth in 2020. One vital driver of mobile ad spend growth is social media. Many of the most popular social networks are accessed via smartphone, and as apps such as Instagram draw millions of users every day, mobile and social media ad spend in Europe are ramping up. Seeing that social media was voted the most effective marketing channel for e-commerce in Europe, it will likely grab an even larger slice of Europe’s digital ad pie in the future.

Interesting statistics

In the following 8 chapters, you will quickly find the 50 most important statistics relating to "Digital advertising in Europe".

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