Digital Adspend grows by 34% in 2014


Digital Adspend grows by 34% in 2014

  • Total Online Advertising reaches a high of €263m
  • €1 in every €3 of digital adspend is now on mobile


The 2014 IAB PwC Online Adspend Study records growth of 34% in the Irish digital ad market with a total digital spend of €263m.  Mobile adspend now accounts for €1 in every €3 spent on digital advertising. Digital’s very strong upward trajectory contrasts with adspend on other media over the same twelve-month period. Nielsen tracks a modest 2% growth in other media in 2014 (Nielsen AdDynamix 2014)


Digital Advertising Formats (Desktop and Mobile Platforms)


Display advertising grew by 35% to €99m, it now represents 38% of total digital spend. Drivers of display adspend growth include the strong performance of social media display with a spend of €28.5m in 2014 (+108% on 2013) and a 63% growth in spend on digital video to €14.3m in 2015.


Paid-for-Search advertising has grown by 43% yoy and remains the dominant digital format with a 52% share of total online adspend at  €137m.


Classified advertising online continued to perform strongly in 2014, holding a 10% share of online adspend at €27m.


FMCG is the top advertiser category in Display Spend (Desktop and Mobile platforms)

 FMCG is the top spending category in cross platform display spend with a category share of 16% of display spend. Retail holds second position at 14%, followed by Finance with a 13% share.

Irish Mobile Adspend 

 Mobile advertising grew by 132% as the Irish advertising market followed the consumer’s migration to mobile. Mobile Search accounts for 70% of total mobile spend with Mobile Display advertising representing 30%. Retail takes poll position as the top-spending category on Mobile Display accounting for 15%, FMCG and Finance are joint second with a 13% share respectively.


Key Drivers for growth:


  • Growth in Digital Consumption fuelled by Mobile


80% of Irish adults use the Internet (78% EU)*

65% of Irish adults go online via mobile devices (50% EU)*


*Eurostat December 2014


52% choose smartphone as the first device to go online**


**IAB Ireland / Red C Mobile Case Study in Mobile Advertising Oct 2014


  • Digital Video Takes Off


1 in 4 Video on Demand (VOD) viewers watch video online daily.

This rises to 1 in 2 viewers among 16 to 24 year olds***


***IAB Ireland / Nielsen: The Power of VOD Dec 2014


  • Strong Social Media Usage


The Irish market continues to engage heavily on social networks.


The latest social media usage data from Ipsos MRBI * highlights that 63% of adults 15+ in Ireland have Facebook accounts, with 28% for Twitter, 24% for LinkedIn, and 22% for Google+


Further growth predicted for Online Adspend:


PwC predicts 12% growth CAGR in Irish online adspend during the period 2013 – 2018 (PwC Annual Global Entertainment and Media Outlook). Media agency Carat predicts a 16% increase in digital spend (desktop and mobile) for 2015. While Mindshare Ireland forecasts a growth of 14% for digital advertising in 2015.


Commenting on the study results Suzanne McElligott, CEO of IAB Ireland, said: “ The big takeout from our 2014 adspend study is the dramatic growth of 132% for mobile, we can see that the key digital formats of display and search are increasingly embracing the mobile platform. Brand spend on digital is now at the centre of media planning with major advertisers such as P&G now allocating over 30% of their media spend to digital (Marketing Week 23/10/2014) Looking at Display adspend specifically, it is interesting to note the growth in cross platform digital sponsorship (+58% in 2015). This adspend reflects the global growth in brand investment on content marketing which is the theme for today’s IAB Connect 2015 conference,” she added.

* Ipsos MRBI Social Networking Quarterly Feb 2015

“Social Media and VoD advertising have seen very strong growth rates, of 108% and 63% respectively. This reflects both the global growth of these very exciting formats and the high degree of engagement by consumers with social media and digital video”. Nuala Nic Ghearailt, PwC



For further information please contact:


Maeve O’Meara, Marketing Manager, IAB Ireland, 086 852 2291.




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.


  • 30 leading publishers participated in the study, many of which 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.


  • RTE do not submit data to the IAB PwC Adspend Study, RTE’s digital adspend as reported in RTE’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.

About PricewaterhouseCoopers

PwC ( provides industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory services to build trust and enhance value for our clients and their stakeholders.  More than 161,000 people in 154 countries across our network share their thinking, experience and solutions to develop fresh perspectives and practical advice.


View the accompanying Infographic – IAB PwC Online Adspend 2014 here.