How is 2020 impacting online video ad spend?

Posted on: Wednesday 18 November 2020 | 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


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

Abstract ad spend graphics

Digital ad market grew by 15% in first half of 2022

Get the key takeouts from our H1 Digital Adspend update with PwC, showing that the digital ad market grew by 15% as the rate of growth returns to pre...

Learn more
Adspend abstract graph

Digital ad spend soars 41% to hit record high in 2021

IAB UK’s Digital Adspend report for 2021, conducted with PwC, shows that the digital advertising market grew by 41% last year to a total of £23.5 billion...

Learn more

Digital advertising spend surges 49% in H1 2021, as marketers’ confidence returns

IAB UK's Digital Adspend report for the first half of 2021, conducted with PwC, shows the market has continued its growth with £10.5bn spent.

Learn more

Digital accounts for 70% of advertising spend

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

Learn more

Why digital advertising works

Discover why digital advertising is effective for reaching your customers and building brands.