IAB Europe’s AdEx Benchmark 2022: Yieldbird Insights on European Digital Advertising

IAB Europe’s seventeenth edition of the AdEx Benchmark report offers valuable insights into the digital advertising landscape across 29 European markets. Despite economic challenges and geopolitical uncertainties, the report reveals the industry’s impressive resilience and growth, providing a glimpse into the evolving trends and key drivers that shaped the digital advertising landscape in 2022.

Key Findings from the IAB Europe AdEx Benchmark 2022

  • European online advertising expenditures increased by 9.8% year-on-year, with the surveyed markets reaching a record-breaking €86 billion.
  • The European digital advertising market demonstrated remarkable resilience, adding €7.7 billion in 2022.
  • The report predicts a promising future for digital advertising in Europe, with an expected 4.8% increase in ad spend, reaching an overall valuation of €90.1 billion in 2023.
  • Among the European markets surveyed, Turkey achieved the most substantial total growth, an impressive figure of 93.3%.
  • Video advertising also experienced significant growth, with a 13.6% increase, accounting for investments totaling €18.3 billion.
  • Digital audio saw the most extensive growth across all formats in 2022, with a remarkable 22.1% increase to €0.7 billion.
  • Connected TV spending experienced an exponential increase of 46.6%.
  • Display advertising grew by 9.5% to €40.1 billion, while search advertising saw a 10.7% increase to €37.4 billion.

The report welcomed new entrants from the Baltic region, including Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, while Russia and Belarus were excluded.

Programmatic Ads’ Impact

As a company delivering software to manage programmatic ad inventory, we had to pay more attention to this topic. According to the report, programmatic advertising, excluding social media, accounted for over half (57.9%) of display advertising expenses, representing 13.9% growth. Additionally, the video was a driving force behind programmatic ad spending, representing 52.8% of investments. 

Despite this positive trend, there are notable disparities in programmatic adoption across different markets, indicating untapped growth potential. Key markets like France, Germany, Italy, and Sweden continue to display relatively lower levels of automation in their advertising processes compared to the UK.

The slowdown in the programmatic market has had a visible impact on publishers' revenues, particularly evident in the open auction. Many revenue streams have experienced declines compared to the previous year, and the quality metrics in 2022 are now approaching levels similar to those seen in 2020, before the significant post-pandemic growth. Market trends in both 2022 and now in 2023 are showing a flatter pattern, with typical uplifts observed in previous years, like during the last months of the quarter (especially June) or Black Friday-type events, now significantly lower.

The outbreak of the war in Ukraine has led to a surge in articles covering the topic, resulting in an influx of new users. However, monetizing such traffic has proven challenging due to the sensitive nature of the content. Another complicating factor in 2022 was inflation and the looming possibility of a recession. As a result, some budgets shifted towards sales channels like Programmatic Guaranteed, driven by the desire for greater transparency in inventory quality and pricing. Ad agencies we consulted confirmed that they did not anticipate the reduction of ad budgets, but the focus on quality metrics has become more stringent. Hence the increased interest in PMP (Private Marketplace) deals.

Despite initially predicting modest growth of 4.8% for 2023, the current results confirm this outlook. The second half of Q2 briefly raised hopes for a market improvement, but unfortunately, the upward trend was short-lived.

~ Oliwia Gruszewska, Customer Performance Expert at Yieldbird

The Future of Advertising in Europe

IAB Europe’s AdEx Benchmark 2022 report exemplifies the European digital advertising market’s resilience and growth despite economic and geopolitical challenges. Notably, impressive performances from video and audio formats showcase the industry’s adaptability to evolving consumer behaviors and technological advancements. Programmatic advertising also emerges as a vital driver of display ad impressions, promising prospects for further growth. With digital advertising solidifying its place as a dominant media category, the report underscores its importance, accounting for over 60% of total media ad spending. The future looks promising for the European digital advertising landscape, with advertisers poised to seize emerging opportunities and optimize strategies to engage consumers effectively.

You can access the full report here for a comprehensive understanding of the European digital advertising landscape.


Bartłomiej Oprządek
Regional Growth Director

    Bartłomiej Oprządek

    Karol Jurga

    Chief Revenue Officer

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