Growth of online advertising by a fifth in 2021

Advertisers’ spending on online marketing communication in 2021 increased by more than PLN 1 billion compared to the previous year. Thus, the value of the online advertising market reached more than 6.2 billion PLN, which means an increase of 20%.

Throughout 2021, the quarterly growth momentum of the online advertising market has reached double-digit indices. The second quarter was particularly high (+28%). It was a period of dynamic rebound from the downturn of 2020, when the market slowed in response to the pandemic.

The last quarter of 2021 was not as spectacular as the previous ones. However, the high index also recorded at that time (+14%) made it possible to achieve an annual dynamic as high as that last observed in 2015 (also +20%). This is the third fastest development result in history since 2007, since the AdEx study was conducted in Poland. In 2008, the dynamic amounted to 67%, and in 2011 it reached 23%.

We are very satisfied with these good results on the market. Another revolutionary fact deserves attention. According to internal analyzes by IAB Polska, advertising expenditure on the Internet represented half of the budgets allocated to the purchase of advertising space last year. We remind you that 2019 was a pivotal year due to the break in the dominance of television advertising in the market.

The 2020 pandemic ended with a decline in total ad spend, with only internet ad spend showing positive metrics. 2021 has been a breakthrough year. Following in the footsteps of other global and European markets, online ad spend already accounted for half of all ad spend – comments Włodzimierz Schmidt, President of IAB Polska.

The overall picture of online advertising cake on the Vistula has not changed

Display advertising (including static display and video) is still dominant. He owns a 47% share. Today it is an essential driver of growth. During the analyzed period, it generated half of the added value compared to the same period of the previous year. Its dynamics amounted to 22%. The increase in spending on image-related advertising activities – partially frozen during the pandemic (-12% in the first half of 2020) – thus enabled the strengthening of graphic advertising in a leading position.

Among the flagship formats, ads once again recorded a high index (+35%), which dynamically made up for losses after 2020 (-8%). SEM owns a third of the online advertising pie and its value continues to grow by double digits. The high index is still achieved by all major online advertising sales channels: in the programmatic model, on mobile devices and in social media.

Taking into account the industry split, the ranking of advertisers did not change significantly. The podium remained unchanged, with only minor changes in the remaining places.

About the study

IAB AdEx is a cyclical research on Internet advertising expenditure. The project has been implemented by IAB Polska in collaboration with PwC since 2007. Its results have become a market standard and form the basis for other advertising spend analyses.

All major Internet companies participate in the survey. However, the results do not fully cover Internet advertising expenditure due to the wide variety and multitude of small and medium-sized entities present in the market. Advertising expenditure is considered to be the budgets of companies allocated to the purchase of advertising space on the Internet. These expenses include both the survey participants’ income from the sale of advertising space and the agency’s commission for this. Expenses included in the study can be both cash and barter.

The revenues of the following entities have been taken into account: Agora, Burda Media, Cormedia, CS Group (estimated), Dentsu Aegis, Facebook (partially estimated), Freshmail, GK Digitree Group, Google – search engine, contextual advertising, YT, GDN and mobile (partially estimated), GroupM, Grupa Allegro, Grupa Pracuj, Grupa Wirtualna Polska, Grupa ZPR Media, Havas Media, IDG, IPG Mediabrands, LeadR, Lowe Media, NetSprint, Novem, OLX, OMD, Polsat Interia, Polska Press Grupa, Publicis Groupe, Ringier Axel Springer Poland, Companies, Ströer Digital, TVN, TVP. Estimates are based on data from PwC, IHS and Gemius.

Data was collected until April 25, 2022.

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