Press Release Adspend 2017


Pictured at the launch of the IAB PwC Online Adspend study for 2017  at PwC, Dublin were (left to right): Suzanne McElligott, CEO, IAB Ireland, Shane Nolan, Chairman of IAB Ireland Board and Director of New Business Sales EMEA, Google,  Dervla McCormack, Advisory Consulting Partner. PwC

IAB Ireland press release

Thursday 12th April 2018

Irish Digital Advertising Spend grew by 10% in 2017 according to the latest IAB / PwC Online Adspend Study published today.

  • Total Digital adspend is €491m reflecting year-on-year growth of 10% for 2017
  • Mobile adspend reaches €264m for the year ended 2017, with a growth rate of 14% over 2016
  • Video and some native advertising formats drive online display advertising’s 7% growth to €212m in 2017

The latest IAB / PwC Online Adspend Study for the year ended December 2017, published today, reveals growth of 10% for the Irish digital advertising market. This comprises €264m on the mobile platform and €227m on desktop. The IAB Ireland PwC Online Adspend study has tracked the growth of digital advertising annually since 2009. The Irish digital ad market has grown from €97m, as an emerging advertising channel in 2009 to €491m in 2017, reflecting a mature advertising medium. 2017 has been a challenging year

for the advertising industry both globally and locally due to economic uncertainty and this has been reflected in a consolidated advertising market.

Digital Advertising Formats (Desktop and Mobile combined)

Paid-for-Search advertising has grown by 12% in 2017 over 2016 and remains the dominant digital format with a 50% share of total digital adspend at €245m.

Display advertising experienced a growth rate of 7% representing €212m in 2017 and 43% share of total digital adspend.

Classified advertising online performed strongly in 2017 with a 22% growth rate year on year and a 7% share of total online Adspend at €35m.

Note: The total of €491m comprises: €244.8m (Search) + €211.5m (Display) + €34.8m (Classified)

Within the Display category (desktop and mobile combined)

  • Social Media saw a spend of €123m in 2017 up from €114m in 2016, representing a growth of 8%
  • Video advertising grew by 46% to reach a spend of €68m in 2017 reflecting brand advertisers’ strong commitment to this format
  • Native formats (excluding social media) grew by 37%. This was largely attributable to growth in Premium Publisher Controlled Content and Discovery / Recommendation units.

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

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

– **VOD includes social VOD

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

– All growth figures are cross-platform

Finance, retail, and auto are the top advertiser categories in display spend

Finance and Retail are the top spending categories with publishers / adnetworks in digital display advertising with a share of 16% of display spend respectively. Auto is in second position with a share of 15%.

Irish Mobile Adspend now represents 54% of total Digital Adspend

Reflecting the global growth trend in Mobile Adspend, the Irish market experienced a 14% growth in mobile advertising to €264m in 2017. Mobile now constitutes 54% of the total digital advertising spend in Ireland. This onward trajectory in mobile adspend is also reflected in research by eMarketer which predicted that global mobile adspend would reach 62.5% of total digital advertising in 2017.

Key Drivers for Digital Adspend growth:

  • Mobile devices are an integral part of consumers’ daily lives
  • 59% of consumers in Ireland use their mobile device at least every 30 minutes
  • Ireland ranks 2nd in terms of average number of mobile websites used in a typical day – 7.29 per day – global average 5.82
  • And when it comes to mobile app usage, Ireland sits joint 3rd with Canada in terms of average number of apps used in a typical day, close to global average.

Source: IAB On Device Always On – A Global Perspective of Mobile Consumer Experience 2017

2)  Digital / Online is one of the top 3 areas of spend for 70% of Marketers.

50% of Irish marketeers with budgets of +€1m predict they will allocate up to 30% of their budget to digital. A further 10% will spend +50% of their budget on digital in 2018.

Source: Alternatives/ The Marketing Institute Salary & Market Insights Survey 2017

3)  IAB Ireland and Nielsen released Irish research in October 2017, which confirmed that Video on Demand (VOD) viewing is entrenched in the market

  • 74% of Irish Adults (16 +) have watched VOD in the last 6 months
  • Half of VOD viewers watch daily, rising to 3 in 4 amongst adults under 25
  • 40% of VOD viewers watch more VOD than TV (32% in 2016)
  • 67% of VOD viewers watched when ‘out & about’ compared to 63% in 2016 and 47% in 2015.

Source: IAB Ireland Nielsen – The Power of VOD 4 October 2017

Further growth predicted for Online Adspend:

Media agency predictions: Group M predicts a growth rate of 6% for digital in the full year 2018 with Core Media forecasting a growth of 20%.

Commenting on the study results, Shane Nolan, Chairman of IAB Ireland Board and Director of New Business Sales EMEA, Google said, “Ireland’s 2017 digital adspend of €491m reflects a strong and mature advertising medium and we are looking forward to continued strength in 2018”.

Suzanne McElligott, CEO IAB Ireland added: “The 10% growth recorded in digital adspend in 2017 is a very positive performance in a challenging year for the Irish and global advertising market. IAB Ireland and our members are currently playing a leading role in Europe both contributing to and adopting IAB’s best practice across digital advertising policy, measurement and engagement. 2018 will see an enhanced digital advertising experience for Irish advertisers and users” she predicted.

Commenting on the survey results, Nuala Nic Ghearailt, Manager, PwC, added: “We have seen growth in more interactive and personalised forms for advertising in 2017. Video advertising, social media as well as some key forms of native advertising experienced strong growth. Paid search is still a very important format and commands 50% of the Irish digital advertising marketplace”.

*Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2016

**Virgin Media Digital Insights Report 2016

***IAB Ireland report: The Power of VOD 3, conducted by Nielsen June 2016



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.


  • 27 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, Facebook, Twitter 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, 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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