Irish digital ad spend surges in 2023, fueled by video and social media growth

Irish digital ad spend surges in 2023, fueled by video and social media growth

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Ireland and PwC this month published their latest Online Adspend Study, revealing a positive outlook for the Irish digital advertising market.

Total digital ad spend in Ireland reached €958 million in 2023, reflecting an 11% year-over-year (YoY) increase. This follows a more modest growth rate of 4% in 2022. The positive trend aligns with an improving Irish economy, as evidenced by the Credit Union Consumer Sentiment Index reaching a high of 62.4 in December 2023 – the first year-on-year improvement since 2017. Additionally, around 80% of Irish citizens used the internet for activities like shopping, banking, and online services in 2023, highlighting the growing importance of digital channels.

Display advertising, which encompasses paid social media advertising, emerged as the dominant format, accounting for 61% of the total digital ad spend (€589 million) and experiencing a 15% YoY growth. This expansion is primarily driven by the surge in video advertising (24% YoY growth) and digital audio advertising (16% YoY growth). Paid social media advertising itself saw a significant increase of 19% YoY (€446 million).

Search advertising experienced a more measured growth of 4% YoY, reaching €314 million and holding a 33% share of the total market. This suggests a potentially mature phase for search advertising in Ireland. Classified advertising followed a similar trajectory with a solid 16% YoY growth (€55 million) and a 6% share of the total digital ad spend.

Video advertising stands out as a major driver of digital ad spend, with experts predicting its continued dominance in 2024. The report breaks down video ad spend growth into two categories: social video (25% YoY growth) and broadcaster/publisher video (20% YoY growth). This highlights the increasing popularity of video content across various platforms, offering advertisers new ways to engage audiences.

While the outlook for 2024 appears positive with an anticipated 8% growth in ad spend, industry participants also acknowledge potential challenges. Increased regulations and the deprecation of cookies are areas of concern. The IAB Ireland emphasizes its commitment to supporting members through resources and events to navigate these evolving landscapes.

The IAB Ireland/PwC Online Adspend Study is a collaborative effort established in 1997. It surveys digital advertising expenditure in Ireland. The 2023 study involved 21 leading publishers, 2 ad networks/sales houses, and 8 media buying advertising agencies. Participation is voluntary, and figures are based on estimates and not audited data.

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