Digital accounts for 70% of advertising spend

Posted on Tuesday 18 May 2021 | IAB UK

Get a snapshot of the UK advertising market by media sector, using IAB UK/PwC Adspend and WARC data

Released last month, our 2020 Digital Adspend report shows that the digital ad market grew by 5% in 2020, despite the impact of the pandemic. The report, produced with PwC, found that spend hit a total of £16.5 billion in 2020, fuelled by growth in social display, video and search. 

To help give a broader picture of spend across the industry, we have now drawn on Digital Adspend results and data from WARC to chart spend across media sectors. This shows that: 

  • The total UK advertising market was worth £23.46bn in 2020, with digital accounting for £16.5bn of spend, followed by TV 
  • Total UK ad spend fell by 7.2% in 2020. Digital advertising was the only area of growth, up 5.2%
  • Digital advertising’s share of the total ad market now stands at 70%, with paid search making up the majority of this (36%), followed by digital display (27%)

For more detail, log in to download the slides. 


You must be a member of the IAB UK to view this content. If you are not a member you can find out more here.

Written by



Related content

Jon Mew speaking on stage at IAB event

Digital Adspend 2023: Digital ad market grows 11% to £29.6bn

Learn more
Two woman engaged in conversation

How to submit to Digital Adspend 2023

Learn more
Person with a video camera

Advertisers prioritise video as digital ad spend grows 5% in H1 2023

Learn more

IAB Europe: Digital ad spend in Europe increased by 9.8% in 2022

Learn more

Rediscover the joy of digital advertising

Champion connections instead of clicks. Capture audiences' imaginations, not just their attention. Boldly move to your own beat instead of letting tech set the pace. It’s time to rediscover the joy of digital.