UK TV Ad Spend Statistics

UK TV Ad Spend Statistics

By In Advertising, Marketing, NEWS, Television On 19th May 2017

With the meteoric rise of online video and services such as YouTube becoming the default station on which to view everything from documentaries to music videos, it would be fair to assume that TV advertising spend might be on a massive decline.

Not so!

In fact, UK TV advertising continues to be a very productive marketing avenue for many businesses and generates some incredibly fascinating statistics (both positive and not so positive).

We’ve picked out the most telling below:

1) Companies invested £5.28 billion in TV advertising during 2016 – up 0.2% on 2015 *

2) Online businesses are now the biggest spenders on TV, investing £639 million in TV during 2016 – an 8% increase year on year *

3) Brands such as Amazon,, Facebook, Google, Just Eat, Netflix and invested £639 million in TV during 2016 – an increase of 8% on 2015 (Nielsen)

4) The top 5 TV advertising categories were: (1) Online businesses: £639 million (2) Food: £627 million (3) Cosmetics and Personal Care: £439 million (4) Entertainment and Leisure: £419 million (5)Motors: £314 million (Nielsen)

5) Amazon were among the biggest spenders on TV advertising during 2016 with £34.3 million, along with £38.8 million from owner BGL Group and £25.9 million from Moneysupermarket (Nielsen)

behind the scenes photos from filming for West Bromwich Albion FC squad photo shoot video
Video camera filming at large sports events.

6) There were 837 new or returning advertisers on TV in 2016 *

7) The most viewed advertiser in 2016 was Procter & Gamble followed by Sky: 24.6 billion views, Reckitt Benckiser: 21.2 billion, BT: 15.7 billion and Unilever: 14.6 billion(Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board)

8) The total UK advertising market grew by 4.4% to £21.1 billion in 2016 (WARC)

9) It is forecasted that in 2017 the UK advertising market will reach £21.8 billion, with TV forecast to increase by 1.6% (AA/WARC)

10) In 2016 TV advertising was 28% cheaper in real terms than 10 years ago *

11) Every week in the UK, Commercial TV reaches 91.9% (BARB)

12) An average TV campaign in the UK gets around 237 million views (BARB)

13) 86% of all TV watching in the UK is live content (BARB)

14) An advertising campaign can see its effectiveness increase by 40% if TV advertising is included, making it the most effective medium (IPA)

15) With a 2.6% average market share point gained per year, TV advertising is the best for generating top-line growth that drives profit (IPA)

Picture of a live concert
Tablet with Graph on for business

16) There are 17 million conversations about TV advertising taking place every evening in the UK (BARB/Thinkbox)

17) TV advertising spend is expected to fall 2% to £3.93bn during 2017 (Advertising Expenditure Forecasts)

18) ITV’s full year results for 2016 indicated the first fall in ad revenues since 2009 for one of the UK’s largest broadcasters *

19) During 2017, TV ad spend was expected to shrink particularly sharply in the first quarter of the year, driven by a 15% decline in retail spend and 12% drop in FMCG advertising *

20) During Q2 of 2017, the TV market is expected to decline less rapidly, by 1% *

21) Following there Brexit vote in 2016, adspend was predicted to slow, with growth falling to 4.8% in 2016 versus 9.7% in 2015 *

22) Spend on internet advertising in the UK during 2017 is expected to continue its positive, sustained rise – up 7% to £10.1bn *

23) Globally, adspend is expected to grow by 4.4% in 2017 and in-line with previous years since 2010 when spend has increased from 4% to 5% *

24) 2017 will be the first year in which more money is spent on web advertising globally than on traditional television advertising *

25) Web-based businesses were the largest spenders on UK TV advertising during 2016, spending $757 million (£639 million) collectively (Thinkbox)

video player with hand pushing play
successful Graph showing growth

26) Spend on TV advertising from big American companies like Facebook, Netflix and Google was less than $20 million combined in 2016 *

27) In 2016, there was a 12.6% growth in video-on- demand revenue *

28) TV’s share of overall advertising spend in the UK has held steady at 25% during the last decade (Advertising Association/WARC)

29) Digital formats were thought to be the biggest drivers of advertising spend during 2016, with web ad spend up by 13.4% to £10.3bn and mobile spend reaching £3.9bn *

30) Forecasts for UK ad spend over the next two years suggest a continued growth of 2.5% in 2017 and 3.3% in 2018 *

One thing’s for sure – TV, digital and web advertising spend will continue to fluctuate over the next few years, with businesses large and small opting for a variety of channels through which to publicise their products and services.

Whatever you do, though, don’t expect TV advertising to disappear any time soon.

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