Television ad revenue in the U.K. totalled £5.27 billion ($6.6 billion) in 2016, with online businesses now the biggest spenders on TV, according to full-year revenue figures provided to Thinkbox by the British commercial broadcasters.
According to Nielsen, among the biggest spending online businesses on TV were Amazon (£34.3 million, up 39 percent), Comparethemarket.com owner BGL Group (£38.8 million, down 4 percent) and Money supermarket (£25.9 million, up 6 percent).
Together, new or returning advertisers accounted for 1.6 percent of total TV ad revenue in 2016, according to Nielsen. WARC estimates for the Advertising Association indicate that the total U.K. advertising market grew to £21.1 billion in 2016 (up 4.4 percent), with TV advertising representing 25.3 percent of it. The AA/WARC forecast that in 2017 the U.K. ad market will reach £21.8 billion (up 3.2 percent), with TV forecast to increase by 1.6 percent.
Despite some recent inflation in TV advertising prices—due in part to increased advertiser demand and some decline in TV set viewing—in 2016 TV advertising was 28 percent cheaper in real terms than ten years ago.
Lindsey Clay, the chief executive of Thinkbox, said: “Advertisers invest in TV because it works. TV is a trusted environment for brands. It is a place they want to be seen, where they can rub shoulders with high-quality shows that are important parts of people’s lives. Its trustworthiness and quality are two of the reasons why TV is the most effective form of advertising.
“TV advertising creates huge effects instantly as well as building and maintaining profitable brands for the long-term. For online brands in particular, which have little or no physical presence, TV’s ability to create emotional connections with large audiences is vital. It helps make them feel less virtual and more real.”