Mobile video drives internet ad spend to £10bn record high

The rising amount of short video clips, TV programmes and films people watch on mobiles helped UK internet advertising grow at its fastest rate for nine years, crossing the £10bn threshold for the first time.

The findings come just a fortnight after Mash Media announced the launch of Mash TV, a video-making service especially for the events industry.

The amount UK companies spent on internet ads rose 17.3% year-on-year to £10.3bn in 2016, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau UK and PricewaterhouseCooper Digital Adspend report. Mobile video ads were the fastest-growing format, doubling in size (103%) to £693m. Consequently, they alone accounted for 29% of the total growth in online ad budgets.

The rise in mobile video ad budgets reflects online YouGov data showing that in the last six months, 54% of British smartphone users watched video clips on their phone, with two-in-five of these saying they do more of this than a year ago. A significant number have also watched TV programmes (17%) and films (11%) on their smartphones. This behaviour is much more prevalent among 18-24 year olds, with 75% watching short clips, 44% watching TV and 33% watching films on mobiles. Six-in-10 people who watched short clips, TV or film on their phone did so whilst ‘out and about.’

UKOM, the official body that measures online behaviour, shows that nearly half (48%) of adult’s internet time is now spent on smartphones, compared to 38% on desktops or laptops and 14% on tablets. As a result, mobile ad budgets increased 51% to £3.87bn and mobile now accounts for 38p in every £1 spent on internet ads.

“People are increasingly using their smartphones to watch more clips, programmes and films,” said the IAB UK’s chief marketing officer, James Chandler. “Consequently, as companies have to follow what the industry calls “eyeballs” to get their ads in front of people, they have to allocate more budget to mobile and online video as that’s where people are spending more time.”

Sebastien Bardin, Sony Mobile’s European senior digital marketing manager, added: “However, it’s not just about using TV ads online – brands need to create content specifically for mobile. What works on a TV or cinema screen may not make the most of the benefits of an interactive, more personal experience on the smartphone.”

Alongside video and mobile, social media continues to grow, with budgets rising 38% to £1.73bn. People’s tendency today to use their mobiles for social media means that 79p in every £1 spent on social media ads goes on mobile, while just 21p goes on computer or tablet ads.

For Mash TV enquiries, contact Paul King on or call 020 8481 1122.

Mash TV launch video

Martin Fullard


Martin Fullard

Martin Fullard: journalist, presenter, producer. Martin is the Deputy Editor at Conference News and Conference & Meetings World magazines. He leads the digital channels on Mash Media’s Conference Division as well as heading up Mash TV. He is formerly a web editor at a national newspaper in the Middle East and motoring journalist.

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