IAB Europe has published its 2020 AdEx Benchmark Report and while overall advertisers spent 6.3% more year-on-year, the Classifieds, Directories, and Affiliates segment declined 9.1%. In the report IAB cited a weak job market and high consumer savings as the main growth limiters. 

On average, European advertisers spent 10.7% of their total digital ad spend on Classifieds, Directories, and Affiliates. Belarus leads the chart with 27.6%, followed by Switzerland and Norway. The Czech Republic and Romania are on the bottom with 1.9% each, however, they are outliers among the group of smaller markets. Most of the countries with a higher percentage share in the Classifieds category than the European average are on the bottom end of total digital ad spend. 

Looking at all digital ad formats, Display has been gaining market share steadily since 2012 while Search and Classifieds have shrunk overall. In 2017, Classifieds took its biggest hit falling from 15.2% to 13.2%. This can be partly explained when splitting Display into smaller categories, Social and Other. Social’s share has grown from 16.1% of the total digital market in 2017, to 23.2% in 2020. 

In a YouTube video series highlighting key facts from the report IAB’s chief economist said that in 2021 total digital ad spend is expected to grow 11% y-on-y.

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