How is 2020 impacting online video ad spend?

IAB UK

Working with YouGov and our Video Steering Group, we take a closer look at what’s fuelling a rise in video ad spend this year


According to IAB UK’s H1 Adspend update, produced with PwC, video ad spend grew by 5.7% in the first six months of 2020. Shining further light on the causes behind this upward trend, we have worked with our Video Steering Group and YouGov to survey marketing decision-makers about their use of digital video advertising during the UK’s nationwide lockdown in spring 2020. Our survey of 499 marketing decision-makers, conducted between 16-24 July 2020, shows that:

  • Almost 1 in 3 (32%) increased spend on online video advertising in lockdown - they are significantly more likely to be larger, wealthier, London based companies
  • Those who increased spend on online video advertising during this time were more likely to do so on Outstream and VOD formats (35%) 
  • Those that increased video spend benefitted from an online audience increase, particularly on social media and video streaming platforms 
  • Top benefits of increasing online video spend during lockdown include increased sales, reach and/or brand awareness
  • Cost was cited as the biggest barrier to spending more on online video since the start of lockdown

This is undoubtedly an uncertain time and, whilst it’s difficult to predict what the future holds, this research - along with our H1 Adspend data - suggests that the shift towards increased digital video advertising is expected to be longer-lasting, as a higher percentage of those who increased spend online predict changes will be long-term compared to other channels. 

Commenting on the findings, IAB UK’s Head of Industry Initiatives Dom Tillson, said: “Video advertising is a highly engaging and creative format that allows advertisers to make an impact and reach a growing audience - particularly as streaming rates have surged this year. It’s clear from this research that many marketers are turning to digital video and harnessing its unique capabilities to reach consumers where they are spending more of their time.”

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov PLC. The total sample size was 499 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 16-24 July 2020. The Survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all marketing decision-makers. 

Writing for The Drum, our Head of Industry Inititaives Dom Tillson explores the research, with views from LinkedIn, Unruly and Xandr. Read it here

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