Digital ad spend was up a quarter in the first half of the year to a record high of €162 million. Mobile ad spend is now 40 per cent of total digital spend with growth year-on-year of 72 per cent. Native ads were broken out for the first time with a spend of €16m in the period to June. Display was up by 31 per cent to €59m, or 36 per cent of the total digital outlay.
Paid-for-search advertising has grown by 26 per cent year on year and remains the dominant digital format with a 55 per cent share of total online ad spend at €89m. Classified advertising online has a nine per cent share of all spend online at €14m. Within the display category, social media doubled in growth from €10.7m last year to €22m for the first six months.
The report says spend on digital video advertising grew by 57 per cent from €7m to €11m. Native formats include in-feed advertiser controlled ads such as those appearing on Facebook and Twitter, publisher controlled in-feed advertising which is a feature of content rich sites. Native is a format expected to grow strongly in the coming years.
Finance and retail share poll position as the top spending categories in display spend across digital platforms holding a share of 15 per cent respectively. Auto, telco and FMCG are in joint second position, each with a 10 per cent share. Mobile ad spend now represents €2 in every €5 of total digital ad spend. With a 72 per cent growth, mobile ad spend came to €65m.
Three in four Irish people use a smartphone. Web traffic on smartphones in Ireland is almost a third higher than the EU average, a quarter higher than the UK and a tenth higher than the US. A third of all internet usage is by smartphone. Over half of Irish users consume video on a smartphone daily. Some 61 er cent of users consume short form video on smartphones.
PwC predicts 14.6 per cent annual growth in Irish digital ad spend to 2019. Carat predicts a 16 per cent growth rate in 2015, with Mindshare forecasting a growth of 14 per cent. Suzanne McElligott, CEO, IAB Ireland, said Irish marketers identify digital as a key growth driver. The gap between users increasing digital consumption and digital adspend must be bridged.
McElligott said stakeholders in digital are working towards agreed standards, such as Viewable Impressions. Speaking on Morning Ireland on RTE Radio 1, she said the focus is now on improving the creative quality of digital ads. Nuala Nic Ghearailt of PwC said the strongest growth continues in mobile ads, video-on-demand, social media and native ads.