UK ad spend grew almost six per cent to reach £6bn in Q2 2019

Tyrone Stewart

UK advertising investment hit £6bn in Q2 2019
Ad spend grew by 5.8 per cent year-on-year (YoY) in the UK in the second quarter of 2019, reaching £6bn and meaning UK advertising grew for the 24th consecutive quarter, according to the latest figures from the Advertising Association and Warc.

The driving force behind market growth, as you’d expect, is online advertising. Digital ad formats for radio broadcasters experienced a YoY rise of 15.9 per cent, while online national newsbrands grew 15.6 per cent and online regional newsbrands were up 7.3 per cent. TV video on demand (VOD) experienced the strongest online growth of 20 per cent, with online magazine brands having the weakest period in sliding 2.6 per cent, in Q2 2019.

Overall, search adverting witnessed growth of 12.7 per cent and online display advertising grew 11 per cent.

Elsewhere, digital out of home, which isn’t included in the online totals, grew 17.2 per cent. However, the most impressive growth of all verticals was experienced by cinema in growing 49.6 per cent.

“These very encouraging ad spend figures for Q2 2019 cover the period immediately following the original Brexit date of March 29, demonstrating the continued strength of UK advertising during a time of political uncertainty,” said Stephen Wood, chief executive at the Advertising Association. “Advertising’s dynamism is shown by the growth recorded across many different formats, with particularly impressive performances from cinema, TV VOD and online radio.”

Across the first half of 2019, ad spend was 5.2 per cent higher than the same period in 2018, hitting £12bn. For the whole of 2019, investment is expected to rise five per cent to reach £24.7bn, with further growth of 5.3 per cent predicted for 2020.

“An upgrade to our 2019 projection of almost half a point is reflective of stellar online growth, as well as over-performance for a number of traditional channels against the expectations we laid out in July,” said James McDonald, managing editor at Warc. “There is little in the data we receive from media owners across the industry to suggest an impending downturn, but growth cannot be taken for granted while economic prosperity remains in the balance.”