U.K. TV Ad Spending Hits Record in 2015, Helped by Facebook, Netflix

Netflix sign  - H 2015
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The $7.45 billion for the year brings TV ad revenue past the £5 billion mark for the first time as Google and other online companies spend more than 60 percent of their marketing budgets on TV.

TV advertising revenue in the U.K. reached a record £5.27 billion ($7.45 billion) in 2015, up 7.4 percent over 2014, according to figures provided to Thinkbox, the British marketing body for commercial TV companies.

It marks the first time the figure has crossed the £5 billion mark and the sixth consecutive year that TV advertising revenue grew in Britain, the company said. The figure covers all money spent by advertisers on commercial TV, including linear TV spots, VOD, sponsorships and product placement.

Online businesses were a key growth driver and are now the second-biggest spenders on TV ads, according to Thinkbox. "Based on data from Nielsen, the continued growth has been fueled by increased investment in all major marketing categories, with significant growth coming from online companies," the firm said. "Online businesses invested over £500 million ($707 million) in TV in 2015, an increase of 14 percent [from] 2014. Google, Facebook and Netflix spend over 60 percent of their marketing budgets on TV advertising."

Facebook was the year’s biggest new TV advertiser in the U.K. with $15.3 million, according to the firm. It didn't detail the annual spending by Netflix.

Long-established TV marketers also increased their spending, including auto, finance and other companies, Thinkbox said, citing Nielsen.

Overall, TV outpaced the broader ad market in Britain. The Advertising Association estimates indicate that the total U.K. ad market grew about 6.1 percent in 2015 to $27.9 billion. Based on the AA estimates, TV accounted for 26.9 percent of the total U.K. ad market last year.

"Online businesses in particular recognize the impact TV advertising has and have significantly increased their investment recently," said Thinkbox CEO Lindsey Clay. "This is something we expect to continue in 2016."