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UK Leads World in Online Advertising

5 October 2009 by Stephen McNamara

New figures show that UK businesses are leading the way in utilising the Internet for advertising. According to data released by the Internet Advertising Bureau, the UK has become the first major world economy where advertisers are now spending more money on online advertising than on more traditional television options.

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It is no secret that commercial broadcasters have been struggling to maintain revenues with the recession taking its toll. However, the economic downturn does not fully answer the story. Even before the difficult financial times hit home, TV’s ad revenue was already under siege from the rapidly growing Internet market.

To a certain degree the Internet is beating TV at its own game by placing ads on web streamed videos but the online route to the viewer also offers other benefits that TV advertising cannot. This includes targeted ads and click-through ads, and this is to not mention the impact of unique online advertising phenomena such as pay per click.

So, in the first six months of this year 23.5% of all ad spend in the UK was taken by online forms while television commanded just 21.9%.

To date the world’s other major markets have not matched the UK’s milestone. In the US, online ads make up 15.4% of the total market and still trail TV, while globally the web advertising figure stands at 13.2%.

So the UK leads the way in Internet advertising. It seems that our commercial sector is ahead of the curve in appreciating the enhanced opportunities to connect with potential customers that web advertising offers. And while TV is just about holding on in the rest of the world, it is surely only a matter of time before online overtakes TV across the globe.