UK Digital Ad Spending 2019

Brexit Concerns Strengthen the Duopoly’s Hand

Digital Ad Spending 2019

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Forecasts for seven markets: US, Canada, China, France, Germany, Latin America, UK

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Executive Summary

Digital has accounted for the majority of media ad spending in the UK for several years—in 2019, its share will be 66.4%. Mobile swallows up the lion’s share of digital spend, while video formats are becoming increasingly prevalent. Meanwhile, the fallout from Brexit will further empower the Google-Facebook duopoly.

How much will UK advertisers spend on digital advertising in 2019?

Advertisers will spend £14.73 billion ($19.64 billion) on digital ad formats this year, an 11.2% increase over 2018. With total media ad spend up by just 6.8% in 2019, it’s clear that digital is driving the UK’s ad industry.

How will Brexit affect ad spending in the UK?

We have made a slight downward adjustment to our ad spend forecast this year in light of Brexit. However, digital dominance persists, largely thanks to the flexibility and optimization benefits offered by digital—both particularly attractive when budgets are under pressure.

Will the duopoly remain intact in 2019?

Brexit has strengthened the hands of both Facebook and Google. These platforms offer reach, detailed audience data and price efficiencies. However, Amazon is gaining traction in the UK.

What formats are driving UK digital ad spending growth?

Mobile now accounts for the majority of digital ad spend. Video is the next big growth driver.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report features our latest forecast for UK ad spending, including breakouts by media and company. It also examines what’s driving the UK digital ad market in 2019.

KEY STAT: In 2019, UK digital advertisers will spend almost £15 billion ($20.00 billion) on digital ads. This will equate to almost two-thirds of the total ad market.

What’s Inside:

This report explores ad spending in the UK, highlighting critical trends and influences. It includes our estimates for the following areas:

  • Total media ad spending
  • Digital ad spending
  • Digital ad spending by company
  • Digital ad spending by format
  • Mobile ad spending

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. UK Digital Ad Spending: eMarketer’s Forecast for 2019
  3. Behind the Numbers: What’s Driving the UK’s Digital Ad Market in 2019
  1. Key Takeaways
  2. eMarketer Interviews
  3. Read Next
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

Interviewed for This Report

Fredrik Borestrom
International Advertising Association (IAA)—UK Chapter
Interviewed February 19, 2019
Brian Finnerty
Marin Software
Senior Director, Marketing
Interviewed February 6, 2019
Wesley MacLaggan
Marin Software
Senior Vice President, Marketing
Interviewed February 6, 2019
Jacque O'Donnell
Group Commercial Director
Interviewed February 14, 2019
Adam Singolda
Founder, CEO
Interviewed February 14, 2019


Bill Fisher


Chris Bendtsen
Senior Forecasting Analyst
Jasmine Enberg
Senior Analyst
Jennifer Jhun
Research Director, International and Special Projects
Angela Kim
Senior Researcher
Showmik Podder
Forecasting Analyst