View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. Publishers
  2. National Newspapers
April 26, 2018updated 05 Feb 2019 12:47pm

UK advertising spend grew to record £22bn in 2017 as Duopoly prosper and newsbrands are squeezed

By Dominic Ponsford

Total advertising spend in the UK grew by 4.6 per cent to a record £22.2bn last year, but the journalism industry is getting a diminishing slice of the pie.

Google is taking by far the biggest amount, followed by Facebook.

According to the Advertising Association (full data below), total internet advertising grew to £11.5bn last year.

But only a tiny amount of that online spend went to the websites of national and regional newsbrands and magazines.

  • National newsbrand websites took £275m in digital advertising (up 19.3 per cent year-on-year)
  • Regional newsbrand websites made £212m in digital advertising (up 9.9 per cent year-on-year)
  • And magazine brands made £271m in digital advertising (down 4 per cent year-on-year).

Separate figures release by the Internet Advertising Bureau (see picture below) show that search advertising comprised £5.82bn of the £11.5bn online advertising total.

As Google takes 90 per cent of the UK search advertising total it can be reckoned to be making at least £5bn on this alone in the UK.

Content from our partners
Cannes Lions: The world's best creativity all in one place
L'Equipe signs content syndication deal with The Content Exchange
Journalism can be relentless: But overworking could be fatal

Display advertising comprises £4.18bn of the total, according to the IAB, and Google will also take a major slice of this via platforms like YouTube and its widely used Doubleclick advertising service.

Facebook is thought to be the biggest player when it comes to online display advertising in the UK, taking in excess of £1bn.

Overall advertising spend with the news industry continues to be in decline and was as follows:

  • National newsbrands: £1.032bn (down 5.6 per cent year-on-year)
  • Regional newsbrands: £887m (down 13.1 per cent year-on-year)
  • Magazine brands: £776m (down 11.5 per cent year-on-year)
  • Radio: £679m (up 5.2 per cent year-on-year).

The figures come a year after Press Gazette launched its Duopoly campaign warning that the dominance of Google and Facebook in the advertising market was pushing news publishers out of business. They show that trend continuing.

While the growth in digital advertising provides some encouragement for the industry, this is failing to offset overall decline across the board.

With print circulations in steep decline industry-wide, this helps explain why the news industry is continuing to look towards paid online subscriptions for its salvation.

Chief executive of the Advertising Association Stephen Woodford said: “These very impressive ad spend figures demonstrate the strength and resilience of the UK advertising industry over the course of 2017.

“To see ad spend hit the £6bn mark in Q4 is a very encouraging result, as is the prediction that we will see 10 years of continued growth through 2019.

“The results also reflect wider trends within the UK economy over recent months, with inflation at its lowest for a year, reducing pressure on real wages, strong employment statistics, and the recent upgrade by the IMF of its economic growth forecast for the UK for this year.”

Advertising Association UK ad spend figures for 2017:

Ad spend 2017 (£m)  2017 v 2016  Forecast 2018 Forecast 2019
Forecast summary % change % change % change
Internet*                    11,553 14.3% 9.2% 7.1%
of which mobile                      5,223 37.3% 20.3% 15.5%
TV                      5,108 -3.2% 2.3% 3.0%
of which VoD                          211 7.1% 11.7% 11.8%
Direct mail                      1,753 0.9% -4.0% -4.0%
Out of home                      1,144 1.5% 1.5% 2.9%
National newsbrands                      1,032 -5.6% -4.3% -2.8%
of which digital                          275 19.3% 10.7% 10.2%
Regional newsbrands                          887 -13.1% -9.7% -5.8%
of which digital                          212 9.9% 3.1% 7.6%
Magazine brands                          776 -11.5% -8.6% -5.7%
of which digital                          271 -4.0% -2.9% 1.8%
Radio                          679 5.2% 4.2% 4.4%
of which digital                            35 26.3% 20.9% 16.9%
Cinema                          260 3.3% 8.8% 7.0%
TOTAL UK AD SPEND                    22,191 4.6% 4.2% 3.8%

Topics in this article :

Email to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network