While display advertising remains the largest single revenue category accounting for 46 per cent of total revenue the report shows that overall revenue growth was driven by three formats: online video, with an increase of 27 per cent; sponsorship, which has risen by 19 per cent; and mobile, which has grown by 11 per cent.
Although desktop display retains its position as the most significant source of advertising revenue, it has experienced a slow but steady decline over the last 12 months. In contrast, video advertising demonstrated positive growth throughout the year, reporting an annual increase of 43.1 per cent in the fourth quarter alone.
Mobile continues to perform well for the industry. Advertising revenue has seen growth of 11 per cent, largely driven by smartphone display advertising (43 per cent increase), as well as the introduction of larger-screen smartphones that have successfully competed for tablet revenue (11 per cent decline). Significantly, mobile advertising revenue now accounts for 10.2 per cent of total revenue, up from 9.6 per cent in 2014.
The DPRI report reveals seven years of sustained growth in video and mobile advertising revenue, which has surpassed £50m for the first time.
Richard Reeves, managing director of AOP, said: “Sustained growth over a seven year period demonstrates how online publishers have continued to adapt to a rapidly changing online environment this can be seen from the rise of video ad formats in 2015. In addition, the sharp increase in sponsorship revenue demonstrates publishers¹ desire to introduce more dynamic and meaningful formats, in response to advertiser demands.”
Howard Davies, media partner at Deloitte, said: “New third party distribution platforms, as well as the emergence of mobile ad-blockers, were just some of the challenges faced by online publishers in 2015. Yet, on average, mobile device revenues demonstrated double-digit growth each month throughout 2015. This is a clear indication that the UK¹s online publishers are adjusting their business models in order to develop mobile-optimised content.”
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