UK Key Digital Trends 2020

UK Key Digital Trends 2020

Privacy, Brexit and Video Take Center Stage

Editor's Note: This report has been updated. It was revised to include viewpoints from a more diverse yet still representative group of industry executives. We regret not including these additional voices when we first released the report. While we stand by the report’s findings and comments made by its original contributors, we believe that a wider set of viewpoints adds valuable additional perspectives and strengthens the report’s analysis and findings.

Executive Summary

Amid a tumultuous political landscape, marketers in the UK continue to face uncertainty over Brexit and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Still, digital ad spend—particularly digital video spending—continues to rise.

How will continued consumer privacy concerns affect the ad industry?

GDPR will finally hit the ad tech sector in the pocket this year. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has given fair warning, and 2020 will see sizable fines meted out to those firms falling foul of the regulation. The importance of first-party data will thus gain greater prominence, particularly outside the walled gardens of Facebook and Google.

Will Brexit uncertainties have any measurable effects this year?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson set a hard date of January 31 for Brexit to be enacted. And now there’s a tortuous road ahead regarding trade deals and other fine print, so Brexit’s effects will continue to be felt through 2020. Certain industries will feel the pinch, which will have a demonstrable effect on ad spend. Digital shopping options, meanwhile, will put pressure on physical retailers, leading to further retail transformation.

What’s the outlook for digital video in 2020?

A common complaint has been that there wasn’t enough digital video inventory in the UK. That’s changing, as it becomes clear that digital video is where it’s at. From a consumer perspective, though, the digital video landscape is becoming more crowded than ever, with more services demanding ever more subscriptions. In 2020, continuing economic uncertainty will force many consumers to question just how many subscriptions they can justify.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report covers some of the main trends that digital marketers in the UK should track in 2020.

Here’s what’s in the full report

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Another Year of Uncertainty
  3. Privacy: GDPR Enforcement Will Finally Hit the Ad Industry
  4. Privacy: Clamor for First-Party Data Will Strengthen Publisher Partnerships
  1. Brexit Effects: Ad Spend Will Be Squeezed in Brexit-Sensitive Sectors
  2. Brexit Effects: Digital Will Continue to Disrupt Physical Retail
  3. Digital Video: For Content Consumption, the Subscription Squeeze Cometh
  4. Digital Video: Advertisers Intensify Their Focus on Video Formats
  1. eMarketer Interviews
  2. Read Next
  3. Sources
  4. Media Gallery

Interviewed for This Report

Phil Acton
Adform
UK Country Manager
Interviewed December 20, 2019
Niklas Bakos
Adverty
CEO and Founder
Interviewed January 30, 2020
David Barker
Samba TV
Managing Director, EMEA
Interviewed December 20, 2019
Ben Barokas
Sourcepoint
Co-Founder and CEO
Interviewed December 18, 2019
Richard Beasley
BWP Group
CEO and Founder
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Damien Bennett
Incubeta
Director, Strategy
Interviewed December 6, 2019
Thomas Bremond
FreeWheel
General Manager, International
Interviewed December 19, 2019
Louise Briggs
Quantcast
Client Partnerships Director
Interviewed January 31, 2020
Andrew Buckman
Sublime
CEO
Interviewed December 20, 2019
Joanna Burton
ID5
Chief Strategy Officer
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Rémi Cackel
Teads
Global Vice President, Data
Interviewed October 16, 2019
Maria Cadbury
We Are Spring, Representing Persollo
Founder and CEO
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Grace Cooke
Bidstack
Head of Client Services and Operations
Interviewed January 29, 2020
Ed Couchman
Snap Inc.
UK General Manager
Interviewed January 7, 2020
Paul Evans
Vodafone Group
Former Global Head of Media/Ad Tech and Media Marketing Consultant
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Townsend Feehan
IAB Europe
CEO
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Richard Foster
InfoSum
Chief Revenue Officer
Interviewed December 16, 2019
Kirsty Giordani
International Advertising Association (IAA), UK
Executive Director
Interviewed January 29, 2020
Chloe Grutchfield
RedBud
Co-Founder
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Lucy Hahn
Flashtalking
Head of Client Operations
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Jean-Philippe Haller
Channel Factory
Country Manager, France
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Owen Hancock
Impact
Marketing Director, EMEA
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Chris Hogg
Lotame
Managing Director, EMEA
Interviewed December 20, 2019
Mark Hudson
TVSquared
Head of Business Intelligence
Interviewed December 18, 2019
Lara Izlan
ITV
Director, Advertising Data and Analytics
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Kelly Jacobson Collins
Unruly
Global Product Compliance Director
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Kate Jervis
DQ&A
Head of Analytics
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Charlie Johnson
Digital Element
Vice President, UK and Ireland
Interviewed January 29, 2020
Cadi Jones
Beeswax
Commercial Director, EMEA
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Sandra Loeffler
Nielsen Marketing Effectiveness
Regional Vice President, Sales, EMEA
Interviewed January 29, 2020
Joanna Lyall
Freeda Media UK
Country Manager
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Juliet McCutcheon
Channel Factory
Sales Director
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Charlotte Monk-Chipman
ReBOUND
Marketing Director
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Andrew Morsy
Peer39
Managing Director, International
Interviewed December 19, 2019
Michael Patterson
DynamicAction
Marketing Director, EMEA
Interviewed December 20, 2019
Dan Peden
Journey Further
Strategy Director
Interviewed December 6, 2019
Glenn Perera
Integral Ad Science
Director, Product Strategy, EMEA
Interviewed December 17, 2019
Keith Pieper
Sovrn
Vice President, Product Operations
Interviewed December 20, 2019
Antoine Pilate
Trade House Media
Co-Founder and Director, Operations
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Rachel Powney
Dugout
Vice President, Marketing
Interviewed January 29, 2020
Richard Reeves
Association for Online Publishing
Managing Director
Interviewed December 19, 2019
Joe Root
Permutive
CEO and Co-Founder
Interviewed December 16, 2019
Dan Rosen
M&C Saatchi Performance
Chief Operating Officer
Interviewed December 18, 2019
Julia Smith
Picnic
Communications Director
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Shirley Smith
Flashtalking
Sales Director
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Andrea Snagg
ChannelAdvisor
Marketing Director, EMEA and Australia
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Rowena Spencer
Digital Media and Operations
Consultant
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Jenny Stanley
Appetite Creative Solutions
Founder and Managing Director
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Steffen Svartberg
Cavai
Founder and CEO
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Bill Swanson
Telaria
Vice President, EMEA
Interviewed December 18, 2019
Simon Thorne
Flashtalking
UK Country Director
Interviewed December 20, 2019
Matt White
Quantcast
Vice President, EMEA
Interviewed January 31, 2020
Daliya Wiens
White Bullet Solutions
Sales Director
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Nikki Wilkinson
Reach
Head of Strategy/Co-Founder of the Digital Advertising Women’s Network (DAWN)
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Silke Zetzsche
A Million Ads
Head of Commercial Partnerships
Interviewed January 29, 2020

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authors

Bill Fisher

Contributors

Ross Benes
Analyst
Lauren Fisher
Principal Analyst
Jennifer Jhun
Research Director, International and Special Projects
Angela Kim
Senior Researcher
Andrew Lipsman
Principal Analyst