Social network ad spending in the UK is still on a strong upward trajectory, with eMarketer expecting 50.0% growth this year. By the end of 2014, social networks will be home to 10.5% of all digital ad spending in the UK, and we expect this share to rise by 4.2 percentage points in the next two years.
Overall UK digital ad expenditures, which include spending on all formats served to internet-connected devices, will total £7.25 billion ($11.33 billion) in 2014—up 15.0% from 2013. Mobile and video ad outlays will continue to grow dramatically, pushing digital’s share of UK total paid media ad spend to 47.9%.
The vast majority of social network ad spending goes to Facebook, the UK’s largest social network. This year, Facebook will see 7.5% of all digital ad spending in the country—nearly three-quarters of the 10.5% going to social networks overall. By 2016, nearly one-tenth of all UK digital ad outlays will go toward the social networking giant—along with more than one-quarter of all digital display ad spending.
Twitter accounts for a much smaller share of the pie, at just 1.3% of digital ad spending in the UK this year, or 3.9% of UK digital display ad spending. But Twitter itself is somewhat more reliant on the UK as a revenue source, collecting an estimated 12.9% of its ad revenues there this year.
eMarketer has adjusted its estimates for Facebook’s and Twitter’s UK ad revenues upward since its earlier forecast, based on higher-than-expected earnings reported in Q2 2014.
On a per-user basis, UK social network advertisers will spend £23.24 ($36.31) trying to persuade social networkers to convert from prospects into customers, or simply building brand awareness. That’s up nearly as fast as social network ad spending overall, and eMarketer expects the figure to continue to rise at double-digit rates through at least 2016. That year, we estimate, UK advertisers will spend £36.49 ($57.02), on average, to reach each social network user via paid media on such sites. That will represent around a threefold increase since 2012.
eMarketer bases all of our forecasts on a multipronged approach that focuses on both worldwide and local trends in the economy, technology and population, along with company-, product-, country- and demographic-specific trends, and trends in specific consumer behaviors. We analyze quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of research firms, government agencies, media outlets and company reports, weighting each piece of information based on methodology and soundness.
In addition, every element of each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all our forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of each forecast means those assumptions and framework are constantly updated to reflect new market developments and other trends.