2014 UK TV advertising reaches record £4.91BN

DetailsEditor | 10 March 2015

Recession, what recession for the UK TV advertising market as it racked up £4.91 billion in revenues in 2014 according to data from Thinkbox.

Indeed, the organisation that represents commercial TV in the UK — encompassing broadcast, on-demand and interactive, and whose shareholders are Channel 4, ITV, Sky Media, Turner Media Innovations and UKTV — found that 2014's figures, a-year on-year increase of 6%, represented a fifth consecutive year of growth for TV advertising with 800 new or returning advertisers on TV in 2014.

The figure represents all the money invested by advertisers in commercial TV and includes linear spot and sponsorship, broadcaster VOD and product placement.

One significant trend revealed in the report was that UK TV advertising is increasingly gaining investment from online brands and services, such as Amazon, Google and Netflix. Using data from Nielsen, which details advertising investment, Thinkbox calculated that when online brands and services are grouped together they form the second biggest spending category on TV having doubled investment since 2010 to over £400 million. The data showed that in 2014 Amazon and Google each invested £10.5 million in TV advertising in the UK for their online services, and Netflix invested £8.5 million.

The data also showed that commercial TV channels accounted for almost two-thirds (65.8%) of UK TV set viewing in 2014, meaning that the average person watched two hours 25 minutes of commercial TV a day. Yet commercial impacts – the number of TV ads watched at normal speed – during 2014 was found to have decreased 3.3% compared with 2013, but was up 27% over the last ten years. The average viewer watched 45 ads a day – seven ads more a day than ten years ago. Collectively, the UK watched an average of 2.65 billion ads a day in 2014. On the downside for the broadcasters, TV advertising prices in 2014 were some 40.7% cheaper in real terms than 20 years ago.

"This is the fifth consecutive year that TV advertising revenue has increased in the UK. Confidence in TV advertising reflects its unrivalled ability to create business profit and sales," commented Thinkbox chief executive Lindsey Clay. "It is also a testament to the brilliant content invested in by the UK broadcasters and the unique qualities of TV as a medium. No other form of advertising can do what TV does. And, as TV viewing evolves to become more flexible for viewers, this is opening up new opportunities for brands to harness its power."

Looking to the near future, Thinkbox calculated that TV advertising investment is forecast to grow again in 2015. It quoted an Advertising Association/Warc prediction that TV ad revenue will grow by 5.5% in 2015.