Digital advertising in the United Kingdom (UK) - statistics & facts

Europe’s advertising landscape has undergone a fundamental digital overhaul in recent years. Thanks to rising internet penetration rates and the mounting demand for online media content, companies across the continent now direct their budgets towards digital channels and platforms. One of the pioneers of this movement is the United Kingdom, the largest digital advertising market in Europe and one of the top three markets globally. Based on the latest data, digital advertising spending in the UK reached an all-time high of 23.5 billion British pounds in 2021, which was more than twice the amount reported in 2017. Not only that, but spending jumped by more than 40 percent from 2020 to 2021, highlighting the profound impact of the pandemic on the digitalization of Britain’s ad ecosystem.

Spotlight on digital advertising formats

Search and online display (including video) were the top digital advertising format in the UK in 2021, drawing a respective 11 billion and 10 billion Brish pounds in spending. Data showed that the focus on these two types correlated with European and global industry trends and also matched consumer preferences. Millions of online users use search engines and watch online video content on a daily basis, explaining why companies are promoting their products and services via these channels more actively each year. Similarly, marketers in the UK also increasingly incorporate social media into their marketing mix, with many players from the B2C spectrum considering it their primary and most promising channel in 2022. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok appeal to brands of all sizes not only because of their massive user bases and potential for influencer marketing but also because of their various advertising features, audience insights, and performance tracking options.

Going with the mobile flow

Mobile advertising has become an essential driver of growth for the UK’s advertising industry. Based on the latest reports, mobile ad revenue in the UK has more than doubled since 2018, surpassing a record 14 billion British pounds in 2021. To put this figure into context, it accounted for roughly 60 percent of total digital ad spending in the country, whereas mobile ad campaigns had made up less than 30 percent only five years prior. This rapid embrace of mobile devices as advertising platforms aligns with the growing number of mobile internet users in the UK as well as the steady increase in smartphone usage. Consumers in the UK spend more time browsing the web via smartphone than ever before, and considering that these devices offer companies unique location-based tracking and targeting options, they will likely become an even greater focal point for UK advertisers in the future.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 31 most important statistics relating to "Digital advertising in the UK".


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