Big interactive wheel keep on turnin’ as sector charts another major rise

According to Mary Meeker’s latest report, online attention minutes continue to grow in the US (with mobile now accounting for over half the time spent online). And the gap between attention and ad spend is also starting to close. That trend is evident here too, and the latest IAB/PwC Online Advertising Report showed that the sector generated $180 million in the first quarter of 2015, a 53 percent increase year on year.

The search and directory market was the star performer for the March quarter, growing 91 percent year on year to reach $108 million.

Mobile advertising also continued its steady climb, generating $3.9 million in the quarter, a year on year increase of 88 percent. The report shows this growth has been driven by smartphones, with phone-based advertising revenue increasing 110 percent year on year, while tablet revenue grew 34 percent in the same period. Overall mobile advertising expenditure now makes up two percent of total online advertising expenditure, although Facebook’s phenomenal growth in mobile ad spend is rapidly changing that

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There was a 34 percent lift in the general display advertising category, which was fuelled by a 39 percent lift in video revenue. The big mover in this area, however, was programmatic advertising, which surged by 172 percent compared to Q1 2014. 

Native/content is also a big growth area for marketers, agencies and publishers, although it is included in the display category and isn’t broken out in the IAB/PWC report, something the IAB is currently working on changing. As a point of reference, it accounted for 22 percent of the £509 million display category in the UK, where it is separated. 

The IAB/PwC Report was established in 2007 and collates spend provided by 35 advertising agencies and publishers. 

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