ONLINE ADVERTISING grew by nearly 20 per cent last year reaching an estimated spend of €132 million, according to a new study by IAB Ireland and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The 2011 IAB PwC Online Adspend study says that the growth in this sector bucks the trend in the Irish media market as the amount spend on advertising in other media areas last year dropped by 4 per cent over the year to €897 million.
The study says that increased broadband provision and the increased average time spent online by people in Ireland each week are the main factors behind the online advertising growth. The average Irish internet user spends 10 hours online a week, according to ComReg.
Seven out of ten of the study’s participants anticipate further growth in the sector in the coming six months, while the study says that smartphone penetration is expected to increase to over half of internet users in Ireland this year (55 per cent).
Meanwhile, social media sites accounted for over one-third of the online display market in 2011.
Advertising on social media sites in Ireland reached an estimated €5.8 million last year, according to the study.
Commenting on the results of the study, chairman of IAB Ireland Eamonn Fallon described the “strong performance of online advertising” recorded as “good news for the Irish advertising industry”.
“IAB predicts that the growth of online adspend in 2012 is set to break the €150 million barrier and see online account for 20 per cent of total adspend,” he added.
PwC’s Bartley O’Connor said that the online advertising growth highlighting in the study “demonstrates the continued level of activity and vibrancy of the online industry in Ireland”.
“All businesses need to consider their digital strategy and how they will capture the opportunities associated with the migration to digital platforms.”
Advertising online ranks third after television and newspaper advertising, and ahead of radio, cinema and magazine advertising.
Eamonn Fallon, chairman of IAB Ireland, is the head of the Distilled Media Group.