Programmatic Video Drives UK Ad Growth

The go-to regular report on digital ad spend has been updated by the IAB UK and PwC and there is a massive takeaway. Digital video display is fuelling the growth that has seen overall digital advertising rise 13% in the first half of the year to be worth, in total, GBP7.3bn.

It raises the highly likely prospect that we will see the market hit GBP15bn for the full year once the second-half figures and the seasonal uplift for Christmas are added.

The big takeaway around video is that at GBP1.32bn, video display is very nearly at parity with non-video display, worth GBP1.45bn in the first half of the year. That means video display is up 27% year-on-year for the first half of 2019.

Now, before we go any further, we should tip our hat to search -- which also grew 13% and so is still the big kid on the block, accounting for just over half of all budget pumped into digital advertising. It often gets overlooked because it has been with us for years, so let's acknowledge its continued growth before moving on to the new story for today.

The IAB UK is heralding the overall figures as advertisers keeping the faith in digital advertising, despite a tricky economic and political backdrop.

More specifically, video is being pulled out for its massive rise, and The Trade Desk told Netimperative that this concurs with what they are seeing. The reason is simple. Advertisers have always known that video is an engaging format, and now that programmatic has been rolled out to embrace the medium, it's nearly as easy to buy and place video campaigns as it is with conventional display.

The prediction is that this will only escalate as more "connected TV" sets are sold and it becomes the norm to tell a story through video and not just static text.

Everyone knew that video would start catching up with non-video display, but this pace is going to surprise many. The picture emerging is that there has been a pent-up demand and it has been widely documented that advertisers were finding it hard to roll out video campaigns at scale to the right publishers.

However, it seems these issues are being addressed and with programmatic in place for video, there are now no real obstacles to its rollout. 

One thing remains -- a sweepstakes on when it will overtake non-video display.

My bet is that if it isn't in the latter half of this year, then by this time next year, we will be talking about video overtaking traditional display for the first time. 

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