Key industry facts and figures for 2015

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The only constant, they say, is change. And that’s especially true when it comes to ad spend, online content and consumer habits.

So how is the digital landscape looking for the future? We have trawled the web in search of the latest findings on digital consumption, the growth of video, the influence of social media and the impact of advancing technology.

Let’s start with the Irish market…



Ad spend is one of the most affected areas in the past year or so, with seismic shifts in digital ad spend, mobile ads, native advertising and especially video advertising. 

Key Findings:

  • Digital Ad spend grew by 25% in the first half of 2015 to a landmark high of €162m.
  • Mobile ad spend is now 40% of total digital spend with growth year-on-year of 72%.
  • Native advertising (sponsored content) has been broken out for the first time with a spend of €16m in H1 2015 (Jan to June 2015).
  • Spend on digital video advertising grew by 57% from €7m H1 2014 to €11m H1 2015 reflecting brand advertisers’ strong commitment to this format.

This move towards video ad spend is a reaction to consumer habits. As you’ll see below, Irish consumers are flocking to online video, which is having a knock-on effect on traditional TV and social networking.

  • 54% of Irish users consume video via smartphone on a daily basis. 61% of all users consume short form video via smartphones.
  • 43% of 26-34 year olds in Ireland consume the majority of their TV content online.
  • Speaking of social networking, the Irish are fond of Facebook and video channel YouTube as a means of communication, with rising star Twitter making a bigger impact in recent years.
  • 35% of Irish people use YouTube as a social network, behind Facebook at 52%, ahead of Twitter at 23%.
  • 640,000 users in Ireland have active YouTube accounts.
  • Almost 70% of Irish Social Media users follow brands and businesses on Social Media.
  • The average Irish user on Facebook displays more than 300 friends, which provides viral opportunities.
  • Retailers are experiencing up to a 35% conversion lift when using online video to present their products (according to research from marketing professionals in April 2015).

Arguably the biggest change in the last two years in Ireland has been the rise of Video on Demand (of VoD). For instance…

  • Video on Demand – stats based on the last six months of people who have watched video on demand:
    • 87% of Irish adults aged between 18-34 years old.
    • 85% 25-44 years old.
    • 84% of Housekeepers with kids.
    • 66% of All adults.
    • 47% of adults age 45+.
  • Platforms used to access Video On Demand – free platforms have the highest reach
    • 51% use free services.
    • 25% paid subscriptions.
    • 9% pay per view.
    • 66% of all viewing is spent watching free content.

This, of course, has a knock-on effect on marketing trends. Here is where you can see the real power of viral campaigns and word of mouth.

  • Video marketing trends:
    • 23% of people searched for a brand after watching a video ad.
    • 19% amplified it through word of mouth.
    • 9% bought a product based on viewing the video.
    • 16% clicked the ad to find more information.
    • 23% visited the brands website.
  • Video consumption trends
    • Within 1 hour of VOD consumption a typical person watches:
      • 36 mins of On-demand content.
      • 24 mins of Live-broadcasts / streams.
    • The last 6 months people who watch 1hr or more video has increased from 72% to 91%.
    • 54% of 16-24year olds watch more VOD than TV.
    • 33% of all Irish adults watch more VOD than TV.
    • VOD viewing rises sharply during the evening hours of 6pm to midnight.
    • And accounts for 60% viewing time.
    • Weekdays and weekends have similar viewing trends.

Consumers tend to be most receptive on mobile devices, particularly smartphones:

  • Influence of Device on Attention index*
    • Smartphone 109
    • Tablet 99
    • PC 93
  • Receptivity index:
    • Smartphone 101
    • Tablet 95
    • PC 91
  • Consumers usage by browsing device:
  • Facebook mobile: A screen first a phone second –
    • Facebook IQ: Study showed 3 key insights when measuring the motivators and behaviours of 25-35 year old adults
      • Online is the new Offline.
      • Mobile is the first ‘screen’.
      • ‘Fear of being Offline’ is the new ‘Fear of missing out’.


These figures are mostly consistent with UK trends. Let’s take a look…



Key Findings:

  •  Consumers in the UK are increasingly watching more video ads, with start rates rising from 41% in 2013 to 63% in 2015.
  • 40% are watching more video on their smartphones in 2015 than 2014, 26% are watching less TV because of this.
  • 80% watch mobile video at home and 50% watch it outdoors, 25% would watch more video on their smartphones if it didn’t use up their data.
  • Mobile video isn’t just short video clips – 37% watch long video formats such as full length movies or TV shows at least once a day.


So how does that apply to ads? You’d be surprised how much consumers embrace ads, if they’re done the right way…


  • 70% are happy to have ads to get free content, but would prefer ads that appear in mobile videos to be related to the video they are watching or have recently watched.
  • 25% often watch video on their mobile whilst watching TV, offering a pathway to creating more engaging and innovative multi-media campaigns.
  • Comscore reports a website visitor is 64% more likely to buy a product after watching a video and will stay an extra 2 mins longer on your website.
  • 80% of smartphone users use mobile phones for shopping research, and 80% of those shoppers do their mobile research in store.
  • Video is worth 1.8m words, according to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research.


Here’s how the UK were spending their ad budgets…


  • Digital advertising in the UK was worth £3.975 billion in H1 2015, up 13.4% from £3.507 billion in H1 2014 representing a market share of over 40%. 
  • Digital advertising spend in 2014 was £7.2bn, a 40% market share and a growth of 800% since 2004 when share was 4%.
  • Digital video advertising grew from £12m in 2008 to £442m in 2014. 
  • Mobile ad spend represented £29m in 2008 (1% of digital advertising) – In 2014 it has 23% market share worth £1.6bn.
  • Mobile video advertising is the fastest growing digital ad format = 142% growth from 2013 – 2014.
  • Social media advertising has shown a growth of 530% since 2010, from £146m to £922m.
  • 2014 Twitter’s broadcasting feature Periscope had 10m accounts, 4 months after launching.
  • Future looks bright, in 2020 digital will represent 50% market share reaching the £10bn. 

And finally, here’s a tantalising statistic about the broader international market:

  • EMEA has seen the biggest growth in video advertising, growth of 160% since 2013, North America has seen the biggest growth in 2015, + 52%, followed by APAC, growth of 42%.





Source: Google, IAB Ireland & UK, Entrepreneur, Nov 2015