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Digital advertising in the UK - statistics & facts

The United Kingdom is the fourth-largest advertising market worldwide, trumped only by the United States, China, and Japan. As the leading ad market in Europe, the country surpasses second-ranked Germany by over four billion U.S. dollars. With regard to digital advertising, however, the UK places third on a global scale, as its digital ad spend of 22.4 billion U.S. dollars outperforms Japan’s reported spending by over a third. The UK’s digital ad market has a track record of consistently growing between 14 and 15 percent annually, and even though this streak was interrupted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, early forecasts indicated the market would bounce back to its usual 15 percent in 2021.

Digital advertising formats

Search is by far the most invested-in ad format in the UK, attracting more than half of the country’s total digital ad spending. As Google holds well over 90 percent of the search market in the UK, the company remains the main beneficiary of advertisers' generosity. In 2021, search ad spending was also expected to experience a good year, growing by more than 19 percent on the 2020 results. Display advertising is the second-largest format and accounts for 40 percent of the total, split almost evenly into video and non-video. Display ad spending was forecast to increase by 16 percent in 2021. Remaining digital ad formats, such as classified or audio, collectively account for around seven percent of the total.

Mobile advertising

At approximately 12 billion U.S. dollars, mobile advertising in the UK constitutes 56 percent of digital ad spending. In comparison, it accounts for 70 percent in the United States. Data from other mature ad markets suggests that the share is going to increase in the future. Additionally, mobile ads have over-average viewability rates, which serves as yet another argument for marketers to shift money to that platform. Among the various mobile ad formats, marketers invest heaviest into display ads (video and non-video), which account for nearly 40 percent of mobile ad budgets, followed by social with 36 percent, and search with 22 percent. Audio and messaging ads collectively account for the remaining five percent.

Key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Digital advertising in the UK" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Formats & platforms

Mobile

Programmatic

Ad blocking

Interesting statistics

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Digital advertising in the United Kingdom (UK)

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Digital advertising in the UK - statistics & facts

The United Kingdom is the fourth-largest advertising market worldwide, trumped only by the United States, China, and Japan. As the leading ad market in Europe, the country surpasses second-ranked Germany by over four billion U.S. dollars. With regard to digital advertising, however, the UK places third on a global scale, as its digital ad spend of 22.4 billion U.S. dollars outperforms Japan’s reported spending by over a third. The UK’s digital ad market has a track record of consistently growing between 14 and 15 percent annually, and even though this streak was interrupted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, early forecasts indicated the market would bounce back to its usual 15 percent in 2021.

Digital advertising formats

Search is by far the most invested-in ad format in the UK, attracting more than half of the country’s total digital ad spending. As Google holds well over 90 percent of the search market in the UK, the company remains the main beneficiary of advertisers' generosity. In 2021, search ad spending was also expected to experience a good year, growing by more than 19 percent on the 2020 results. Display advertising is the second-largest format and accounts for 40 percent of the total, split almost evenly into video and non-video. Display ad spending was forecast to increase by 16 percent in 2021. Remaining digital ad formats, such as classified or audio, collectively account for around seven percent of the total.

Mobile advertising

At approximately 12 billion U.S. dollars, mobile advertising in the UK constitutes 56 percent of digital ad spending. In comparison, it accounts for 70 percent in the United States. Data from other mature ad markets suggests that the share is going to increase in the future. Additionally, mobile ads have over-average viewability rates, which serves as yet another argument for marketers to shift money to that platform. Among the various mobile ad formats, marketers invest heaviest into display ads (video and non-video), which account for nearly 40 percent of mobile ad budgets, followed by social with 36 percent, and search with 22 percent. Audio and messaging ads collectively account for the remaining five percent.

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