Subscribe to the daily newsletter.

Podcasts, CTV and social video drove 2023 digital ad spend to £29.6bn


The UK’s digital ad market grew 11% to a total of £29.6bn in 2023, according to the IAB’s Digital Adspend report, with podcasting (+23%), connected TV (+21%) and social video (+20%) showing especially strong growth.

Growth rates in all three categories outperformed the digital ad market as a whole, underscoring the appeal of these channels which stand to be more immune to upcoming cookie changes than other forms of digital advertising.

The latest Digital Adspend data shows that advertisers’ spend is following consumer behaviour, with Digital Dividend research underscoring the value of entertainment-focused digital media to audiences. In fact, 28% of the population say that they have used ad-supported online entertainment more during the cost-of-living crisis.

Overall, the UK digital ad market experienced solid growth of 11% to £29.6bn last year, far outperforming the UK’s GDP which rose by 0.1% in the same period. Other key take outs from the report include:

  • Digital out-of-home has been included within the report for the first time, and grew 12% in 2023 to £841m
  • Digital retail media spend was also up 12% to £283m as the sector continues to prove a popular route for advertisers looking to tap into retailers’ wealth of first-party data (digital retail media total for 2022 was restated from an initial £176.4m to £252m following the inclusion of additional data.)
  • Spend on mobile advertising has accelerated, increasing 15% to £16.7bn. This is a significant uptick vs 2022 when it slowed to a 4% growth rate in the wake of Apple’s IDFA changes
  • Search continues to underpin the industry, accounting for 50% of the market at £14.7bn. Display grew 12% to £11.3bn fuelled by video, which accounted for over 60% of total display spend for the first time.

James Chandler, CMO at IAB UK, said: “As well as providing us with invaluable insight on the health of the digital ad market as a whole, the latest Digital Adspend results show how advertisers are embracing the diverse array of digital channels on offer. Media that are often referred to as ‘emerging’ are taking their place as increasingly established ways to resonate with engaged audiences – whether that’s via the immersive nature of podcasts or high-impact fame factor of CTV.

“With the impending deprecation of third-party cookies, digital advertising is undergoing a shift and we know that the year ahead will reshape the industry in new ways. In that context, it’s encouraging to see advertisers seeking out engaged environments and increasingly investing in a broad array of online solutions.”

Stephanie Claxton, senior manager at PwC, added: “Digital media continues to evolve, showcasing its adaptability and resilience. Growth was not only seen from emerging channels including digital out-of-home, which was included in the report for the first time, and retail media, which weathered the economic headwinds to deliver double-digit growth online; but also established channels including mobile where ad spend increased and search, which maintained its dominant market share.”

Related News