The Adtraction Blog

How much is UK affiliate marketing worth?

In collaboration with PwC The IAB have released the latest Digital Adspend Study. Affiliate marketing has seen an 8.4% growth year-on-year. We take a look in more detail at the size of the industry and alongside affiliate, review which other forms of digital marketing advertisers are choosing to spend their budgets in.

What is the Digital Adspend Study?

In Q1 2020 Adtraction UK participated in the IAB’s annual digital adspend study, in collaboration with PwC. This study aims to provide an overview analysis of the UK digital landscape by assessing the amount of money that advertisers are spending through different online advertising channels (adspend).

The report, published by the IAB in the last week of April 2020, gives a full year overview measuring the size of the UK digital advertising market in 2019.

These channels are broken down into disciplines such as search, display, classifieds and affiliate and measured across desktop, tablet and smartphone devices.

To conduct this measurement survey the IAB survey included adspend figures submitted by 58 companies, as well as publicly available data.

How much is the UK digital advertising market worth?

  • In 2018 the UK digital adspend totalled £13.60bn, in 2019 this figure grew by £2.09bn to £15.69bn which represents a 15.4% increase
  • The largest five corporations providing digital advertising services grew almost 20%, while the rest of the market grew a more conservative 2%. These 'largest 5' companies are not disclosed in the study, though we fathom an intelligent guess that this list will include likes of Google and Facebook
  • Paid for Search continued to be the largest area that advertisers spent in, accounting for just over half (51%) on all online adspend
  • Video was the largest Display format, accounting for 45% of all display adspend
  • Adspend in Social increased 25%, with advertisers spending £3.59bn
  • Almost all growth was seen to come from smartphones, with 56% of digital advertising now taking place on a smartphone

How much is the UK affiliate marketing industry worth?

We are pleased to report that in 2019 spend in affiliate marketing was worth £510 million. This represents a 8.4% increase year-on-year from 2018’s £471 million.

In affiliate, digital adspend means commissions, tenancies and bonuses paid to affiliates as well as any fees paid to networks or SaaS providers.

The 2019 Digital Adspend Results

Much has changed in the first half of 2020, and the context and trading conditions that advertisers faced in 2019 now look very different to the current climate and economic conditions. That said, this report is an important benchmark for businesses looking at how they spend their marketing budget and where there are areas of growth. It also acts as an barometer of digital spend as part of the UK economy.

Affiliate remains a channel that advertisers are increasing their spend in, showing a concerted investment into this diverse, performance-based channel.

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