Digital Adspend grows by 25% in the first half of 2015 to a landmark high of €162m


Digital Adspend grows by 25% in the first half of 2015 to a landmark high of €162m

  • Mobile adspend is now 40% of total digital spend with growth year-on-year of 72%
  • Native advertising has been broken out for the first time with a spend of €16m in H1 2015 (Jan to June 2015)

The H1 2015 IAB PwC Online Adspend Study sees growth of 25% in the Irish digital advertising market with a total digital spend of €162m.

Digital Advertising Formats (Desktop and Mobile)

Display advertising had the highest growth rate at 31% representing €59m in the first half of the year. Display now represents 36% of total digital spend.

Paid-for-Search advertising has grown by 26% year on year and remains the dominant digital format with a 55% share of total online adspend at €89m.

Classified advertising online holds a 9% share of total online adspend at €14m in the first half of 2015.

Within the Display Category, Social Media Display saw a doubling in growth from €10.7m in H1 2014 to €22m in H1 2015. Spend on digital video advertising grew by 57% from €7m H1 2014 to €11m H1 2015 reflecting brand advertisers’ strong commitment to this format.

Also within Display, the H1 2015 adspend study calls out Native advertising for the first time at €16m in the period, representing 27% of total digital display.   Native formats include in-feed advertiser controlled ads such as those appearing on Facebook and Twitter, publisher controlled in-feed advertising which is a feature of content rich sites and Discovery/ Recommendation units.

Native is now a format that is anticipated to be primed for further growth across markets.

PR graph


 Please note the formats are not mutually exclusive – there is some overlap

* Includes Social VOD  ** Includes Social and VOD  – All growth figures are cross-platform


Finance & Retail are the top advertiser categories in Display Spend

Finance and Retail share poll position as the top spending categories in Display spend across digital platforms holding a share of 15% respectively of display spend.  Auto, Telco and FMCG are in joint second position each holding a 10% share.


Irish Mobile Adspend now represents €2 in every €5 of total digital adspend 

Reflecting the global growth trend of growth in Mobile adspend, the Irish market experienced 72% growth in mobile advertising to €65m in the first half of the year.

Mobile Search accounts for 70% of total mobile spend with Mobile Display advertising representing a 30% share.


Key Drivers for growth:

1) Growth of digital consumption

 75% of Irish people use a smartphone*

 Web traffic on smartphones in Ireland is almost a third higher than the EU average, a quarter higher than the UK and a tenth higher than the US. A third of all internet usage is via Smartphone**.

54% of Irish users consume video via smartphone on a daily basis. 61% of all users consume short form video via smartphones**.

*Consumer Barometer 2015

**Statcounter August 2015

 2) Irish Marketers growing online budget

 Digital is the top ranking planned area of growth for Irish marketers in 2015, according to the Alternatives/ MII Sentiment Survey 2015.

Digital Strategy is also marketers’ highest – ranking growth strategy at 48%**

28% of marketers plan to dedicate between 20% and 50% of their budget to digital**

47% of marketers will devote 20% of their budget to digital**

**(Alternatives/MII Marketing Salary & Employers Sentiment Survey 2015)

Further growth predicted for Online Adspend:

PwC predicts 14.6% growth per year (CAGR) in Irish digital adspend during the period 2014-2019 (PwC 2015 Global Entertainment and Media Outlook).

Media agency Carat predicts a 16% growth rate for digital in 2015 with Mindshare forecasting a growth of 14% for digital adspend.

Commenting on the study results Suzanne McElligott, CEO, IAB Ireland, said: “With Irish marketers identifying digital as the key strategy to drive growth in 2015 our advertising industry has recognised that the gap between users’ ever increasing digital consumption and digital adspend must now be bridged. Now more than ever there is a genuine collaboration between the key stakeholders in the digital sector in the establishment of agreed standards such as Viewable Impressions. This collaboration is facilitated by IAB as the industry moves locally and globally to digital ad formats and practices that further enhance user engagement.”

Commenting on the survey results, Nuala Nic Ghearailt, Digital Marketing Manager, PwC, added: “The digital advertising industry in Ireland continues to show very strong growth, which reached 25% in H1 2015 (YoY). We are seeing significant focus by advertisers on mobile advertising, video-on-demand, social media and native advertising.”



For further information please contact: Maeve O’Meara, Marketing Manager, IAB Ireland, 086 852 2291,


Click on the image below to view the IAB PwC Digital Adspend for H1 2015 Infographic:

adspend snip


Notes to Editors


Background to the study



  • The IAB has been working with PwC since 1997 to survey the value of online adspend in Europe and North America.
  •  29 leading publishers participated in the study, many of whom represent multiple websites. Other participants include sales houses and advertising networks.
  •  Participating publishers were selected on the basis of traffic data and market knowledge. We estimate that our study accounts for 90% of online adspend. Reported figures are not adjusted to account for other organisations that have not participated. Participation is on a voluntary basis.
  • Total advertising revenue is reported on a gross basis (i.e. including agency commission).
  • Adspend revenue is drawn up on the basis of actual figures provided by study participants. All data was provided to PwC on a confidential basis.  The data is prepared by PwC based on the figures provided by participants, which have not been verified or audited by PwC.
  •  Google, Twitter and Facebook do not break out their earnings from Irish advertisers. Instead PwC in conjunction with IAB created an independent estimate of their revenue from Irish advertisers, by extrapolating from spend data provided directly by a representative sample of their clients.
  • RTÉ do not submit data to the IAB PwC Adspend Study, RTÉ’s digital adspend as reported in RTÉ’s most recent annual report is included in the study.


About IAB Ireland

 IAB Ireland ( is the trade association for the Irish online advertising industry. As a not for profit organisation IAB Ireland works with members to ensure marketers can identify the best role for online in building their brands. IAB Ireland is licensed by IAB US and is a member of the IAB Europe network. The IAB network shares three core objectives, namely to prove, promote and protect the online advertising industry. These objectives are fulfilled through the dissemination of authoritative research, the organisation of educational events and by promoting industry-wide best practice.


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