Online advertising is driven by display in H1 2015 to a total of €16bn, first IAB Europe half year ad spend report reveals


Online advertising is driven by display in H1 2015 to a total of €16bn, first IAB Europe half year ad spend report reveals

Brussels, 9th December 2015 – IAB Europe, in collaboration with IHS Technology, has today published the first ever AdEx Benchmark H1 2015 report1. The report reveals that online advertising grew 9.7% on a like-for-like basis to a value of €16bn for the first half of 2015 from €14.6bn in H1 2014 and is expected to reach almost €34bn for the full year.

The H1 2015 report reveals that CEE helped to drive the growth with a double-digit increase of 12.9% whilst the more mature markets in Western Europe also experienced a growth of 9.3%.

Display advertising now accounts for €5.6bn of all online advertising spend with a growth rate of 13.0% and indeed in Western Europe display experienced a 12.6% growth, the highest of all formats, suggesting an improvement in targeting, formats and data strategies for brand advertising.

Mobile continues to takes a more central role in consumer’s lives and 61% of European consumers now use a smartphone2. It is no surprise then that mobile display advertising spend increased 57.5% surpassing the €1bn in the first half of this year and accounting for 24% of all display advertising. Video also continues to flourish surpassing the €1bn mark as publishers develop their video monetisation strategies.

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.

Townsend Feehan, CEO of IAB Europe said, “This new half yearly AdEx Benchmark reports reveals that formats which enable marketers to deliver digital brand campaigns at scale are the high-growth areas. As an industry body we continue to work with our members to invest in research, develop standards and guidelines, and deliver education to increase knowledge and best practice in digital advertising.”  

Daniel Knapp, Senior Director of Advertising Research at IHS Technology and author of the research, said, “The AdEx Benchmark H1 2015 research highlights the rapid innovation of the online advertising industry. The acceleration of the display growth rate to 12.6%, particularly in mature markets where online is already the largest advertising medium, shows that advancements in mobile, video and advertising technology are driving the online ad market. We expect H2 2015 to perform better than H1 and online to lift an otherwise flat European advertising market.”

IAB Europe members can download the report by logging into the IAB Europe website. Non-members can request the report by contacting:



Media please contact: Marie-Clare Puffett –


1About IAB Europe’s AdEx Benchmark Half Year Report:

The content of this analysis is powered by:

1) Reported data from local IABs where available (14 of the 27 countries, covering 85% of the European market)

2) Estimates by local IABs based on local insight, in collaboration with IHS

3) Estimates by IHS based on forecasts from the IHS Advertising Intelligence Service

This is an update of the full year study to provide nearer-term data on 2015 trends and help the understanding of and decision-making in the European online advertising market.


Display includes PC-based and mobile banners, rich media and video formats.


2 Data source: Consumer Barometer –



About IAB Europe

IAB Europe is the voice of digital business and the leading European-level industry association for the interactive advertising ecosystem. Its mission is to promote the development of this innovative sector by shaping the regulatory environment, investing in research and education, and developing and facilitating the uptake of business standards. Together with its members – companies and national trade associations – IAB Europe represents over 5,500 organisations.   @IABEurope    IAB Europe

About IHS (

IHS (NYSE: IHS) is the leading source of insight, analytics and expertise in critical areas that shape today’s business landscape. Businesses and governments in more than 150 countries around the globe rely on the comprehensive content, expert independent analysis and flexible delivery methods of IHS to make high-impact decisions and develop strategies with speed and confidence. IHS has been in business since 1959 and became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in 2005. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, USA, IHS is committed to sustainable, profitable growth and employs about 8,800 people in 32 countries around the world.

Explanatory note on IAB Europe/IHS Technology AdEx Benchmark figures

Each national IAB in Europe runs its own annual online advertising spending study and the IAB Europe AdEx Benchmark figures are based on these results. As the methodology of the studies varies country by country, IAB Europe and IHS Technology have defined methodology rules to represent the figures in such a way as to make them realistically comparable. This involves:

  • Readjusting local figures to allow for harmonised representation. Readjustment rates are supplied by groups of local market experts
  • Estimating/harmonising ad spend data for certain formats or segments in certain countries where local IAB studies do not include data or the definition or scope of a format is substantially different 
from IAB Europe standardised segments
  • Where local data is collected in a currency other than Euros, the average exchange rate in 2014 has been used to convert this to Euros. To provide data for prior year growth rates, the prior year figures have also been re-calculated using a constant exchange rate in order eliminate currency effects.
  • AdEx Benchmark focuses on four normalised segments: ‘Display’ (including mobile Display, rich media and video), ‘classifieds and directories’, ‘paid search’ and ‘other’ (including email but excluding email marketing).
  • Figures quoted are gross figures (i.e. net invoiced value of the media, plus agency commission if any).