Ten years of digital growth: Ireland leads Europe for long-term ad spend


Ireland has enjoyed the best digital growth in Europe over the past decade, followed by Bulgaria and Poland, according to new research looking at online ad spend over the past ten years.


The tenth AdEx Benchmark 2015 Report, from IAB Europe, in collaboration with IHS Technology, looked at the state of the European online advertising market.

The report is a comprehensive perspective of online advertising spend across Europe which is growing ever more essential in the light of European policy formulation, attracting global start-up funding, benchmarking market development trends, the increasingly pan-regional nature of digital advertising investments and the role of Europe’s digital economy in a global context.

The report reveals some of the key milestones of the last ten years culminating in this year’s market value of €36.4bn surpassing the €33.3bn European TV market for the first time.

With an increase of 13.0% in 2015, online advertising recorded its sixth consecutive year of double-digit growth. All 27 participating markets recorded positive growth.

Twenty of these markets grew double-digit for the second year running (three markets recording 30%+ growth, a further nine showing 20%+ growth and a further eight 10%+ growth).

Top 10 Rankings – year-on-year growth

  • Ireland - 29.0%

  • Bulgaria - 22.3%

  • Poland - 21.8%

  • Slovenia – 21.6%

  • Slovakia – 20.4%

  • Sweden – 20.0%

  • Turkey – 19.7%

  • Switzerland – 18.7%

  • Croatia – 18.2%

  • Spain – 18.0%
  • Digital again drove the overall advertising industry, its 13.0% increase balancing a larger decline of 4.1% registered by other media to arrive at a positive 1.0% growth overall for the total advertising industry against a background of continued low GDP growth.

    Townsend Feehan, CEO of IAB Europe said, “The tenth edition of the AdEx Benchmark report reveals a huge milestone for the European digital advertising industry as it surpasses TV. As an industry body we strive to work with our members to adopt standards in new business areas help to develop advertiser confidence in new opportunities and at the same time provide transparency and choice to users about how data may be processed. We are also deeply invested in engaging with policy makers on the regulatory framework governing online advertising, notably in the area of data protection.”

    Daniel Knapp, Director of Advertising Research at IHS Technology and author of the research, said, "Online advertising continues to grow double-digit despite its maturity. The AdEx Benchmark report reveals that the main drivers across Europe are video, mobile, and programmatic. The deployment of new video inventory, more engaging creative formats, better measurement and automation have enabled the industry to react to and monetise rapid media consumption changes.”

    The report can be accessed here

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