UK Online Advertising Spend Now Exceeds TV

chicken-littleIn a recent post I mentioned recent IAB figures which showed for the first half of 2009 New Zealand TV advertising revenue plummeted 13%, while, in stark contrast, online advertising grew 7% compared to last year.

This may have been a shock to some media planners & buyers.  Especially those who to date have given little, if any, attention to online. No one likes their world turned upside down, so some may even be in denial & view this as a short term aberration due to the recession.

I don’t think so!

Most people acknowledge UK is a couple of years ahead of NZ on the online curve & generally what happens there is a pretty good indicator of things to come in NZ.

Whilst things have been tough enough in NZ, the recession has been much worse in UK. As a result the UK advertising industry has really suffered, with a £1.5 billion reduction in total media spend. Despite this, online advertising has continued to grow because of its performance accountability.

The real bombshell however is that, for the first time ever, more money is being spent in UK on online advertising than on TV!


That is pretty astounding & makes UK the first major economy to see online spending overtake television.


As the above table shows, UK’s growth in online advertising has very clearly been lead by paid search.

In NZ paid search is now the biggest online advertising channel & accounts for 36.3% of all online spend. However to put this in context, according to the IAB, paid search in UK accounts for 62.6% of all online spend.

Begs the question – when will that happen here? My money’s on it being within 2 years.

About the Author Mark Sceats

Mark is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire which he founded back in 2002. Prior to establishing SureFire he worked for KPMG Consulting. Today Mark heads up SEO, embracing the challenges that can come with complex website implementations. Outside of work, his interests beyond his family are running, snowsports, diving and fishing (badly).

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