Why is Western Europe lagging behind the UK when it comes to transitioning to digital ad spend? We’ve known the UK was forecast to hit 50 percent this year for a while, and recent predictions have reaffirmed that’s likely to be the case, with over half of the £15.8 billion market being accounted for by digital over the course of the year.

Digital spend is set to increase by 9.5 percent this year according to research by analysts Strategy Analytics, way above the average UK ad spend growth of 5.4 percent. It’s also above the digital ad spend increase of 9.3 percent for Western Europe as a whole, and contributes to the UK average ad spend growth being much higher than the Western Europe average of 3.5 percent.


That’s not to say that Western Europe’s growth is insignificant: its total ad spend is set to break €100 billion in 2015 and is forecast to increase faster in 2016. But Strategy Analytics is more bullish on the UK’s ad market overall because economic and political turmoil in the main European countries is hitting advertiser confidence in those markets.

Additionally the UK digital ad market in particular is benefiting from closer ties to US and the ad-tech companies that are moving across the Atlantic as a result of the shared language simply making it easier to do so.

The UK is shifting to digital more quickly than Western Europe, and its ad market as a whole is looking more promising – that’s good news for digital publishers in the UK, but not such good news for the print publishers of Western Europe who are lagging behind.