IAB Ireland PwC Online Adspend Report 2018


IAB Ireland press release

Thursday 4th April 2019

Irish Digital Advertising Spend grew by 17% in 2018 according to the latest IAB / PwC Online Adspend Study published today.

  • Total Digital adspend is €574m reflecting year-on-year growth of 17% for 2018
  • Mobile adspend reaches €376m for the year ended 2018, with a growth rate of 43% over 2017
  • Social and Video drive online Display advertising’s 18% growth to €250m in 2018
  • Search retains its 50% share of digital advertising in 2018 with an adspend of €286m

Digital advertising spend in the Irish market for 2018 reached €574m according to the latest results of the IAB PwC Online Adspend report, reflecting a growth rate of 17% year on year.

Display advertising grew by 18% to €250m in 2018, this growth was driven by Social with a 31% growth rate YoY and Video with a 34% growth rate YoY.

Search advertising grew by 17% in 2018 with an adspend of €286m and a share of 50% of the total Irish digital advertising market.

Classified advertising online performed strongly with a 10% growth rate year on year and a 7% share of the total 2018 online adspend at €38m.

YoY Growth Rates FY 2018 vs FY 2017 (€m)

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

– All growth figures are cross-platform

– *Display includes social media, native, VOD, email, embedded / interruptive formats, digital audio, email and network-related advertising

– **Social Media includes: social VOD, social native (in-feed) and social display

– ***VOD includes social VOD

– Figures and percentages are rounded

Irish Mobile Adspend now represents 66% of total Digital Adspend

Reflecting the global growth trend in Mobile Adspend, mobile advertising in the Irish market reached €376m in 2018.

Key Drivers for Digital Adspend growth:

  1. Mobile devices are an integral part of daily lives

90% of Irish Internet users have smartphones

The most popular activity on smartphones is Finding Information on goods and services (88%) followed by Email (84%), then Social Networking and Reading/Downloading online news both at 73%.

Source: Information Society Statistics – Households 2018 (CSO)

2) The top 5 Channels for Irish marketers ‘further investment’ are Digital

More than 1 in 3 Irish marketers (37%) are going to increase their marketing spend in 2018

The top 5 Channels for further Investment are Digital:

49% will invest more in Social Media, 28% in Content Marketing, 25% in Search, 24% Digital Video and 24% in online display/programmatic

Source: MediaCom Ireland’s Marketing Sentiment Survey 2018 in association with The Irish Times and The Marketing Institute

Commenting on the study results, Shane Nolan, Chairman of IAB Ireland Board and Director of New Business Sales EMEA, Google said, “Ireland’s 2018 digital Adspend of €574m reflects a strong 17% growth rate in our market. IAB Ireland and its members are focused on maintaining this positive momentum and building a sustainable future for the Irish digital advertising industry”.

Suzanne McElligott, CEO IAB Ireland added: “The IAB PwC Online Adspend report is one of our most important projects with the annual announcement of results anticipated by the industry. With the introduction of IAB Brand membership in 2019 we are dedicated to developing outputs to assist advertisers in maximising their digital knowledge and expertise as well as driving cross industry collaboration to the benefit of the Irish digital ecosystem”

Commenting on the survey results, Nuala Nic Ghearailt, Manager, PwC, added: “The digital advertising market in Ireland continues to show a robust growth level of 17%, which is driven largely by increased spend on search, particularly mobile search, VoD and social media. The increased use of programmatic trading in the Irish market also supports increased efficiencies of targeting, buying and reporting”.


For further information please contact: Maeve O’Meara, Marketing Manager, IAB Ireland, 086 852 2291, maeve@iabireland.ie

Important Notes to Editors:

  • The IAB has been working with PwC since 1997 to survey the value of Online Adspend in Europe and North America.
  • 24 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 in Ireland. 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). Figures and percentages are rounded.  Advertising formats are not mutually exclusive – there is some overlap across specific formats.
  • Adspend revenue is drawn up on the basis of actual figures provided by the study participants on a confidential basis to PwC. The study results are prepared by PwC based on the figures provided by participants, which have not been verified or audited by PwC.
  • Google, Facebook (including Instagram), Twitter, Snapchat and LinkedIn do not publish their earnings from Irish advertisers. Instead PwC in conjunction with IAB created an independent estimate of their revenues from Irish advertisers and agencies, by extrapolating from spend data provided directly by a representative sample of their clients.
  • RTÉ does not submit data to the IAB PwC Adspend Study. However, RTÉ’s digital adspend is deduced through a Freedom of Information request as well as discussions with Ireland’s leading advertising agencies.
  • Programmatic advertising is the buying and selling of online advertising inventory through automated methods rather than human actions. This includes but is not limited to Real-Time Bidding (RTB).

About IAB Ireland

IAB Ireland (www.iabireland.ie) 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 PwC

At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We’re a network of firms in 158 countries with over 250,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at www.pwc.com.

PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.