Mobile ad spend is growing at an incredible clip, and next year will be the tipping point where advertisers finally spend more money on mobile than desktop ads. That’s the finding of the latest eMarketer report, which projects the growth and major trends of mobile advertising over the next few years.
We’ve all heard the industry chatter about ad spend not being in proportion to the amount of time consumers actually spend on their mobile devices. In 2014, US adults spent an average of nearly three hours on their mobile devices every day — an inordinate amount of time compared to the 2 hours and 12 minutes spent with their desktops. And yet, advertisers still allocated larger budgets to desktop advertising than mobile.
But all that is about to change, as mobile ad spend is projected to grow 50% this year. eMarketer predicts that mobile will reach $28.72 billion in 2015 and account for 49% of all digital ad spend. When mobile overtakes desktop next year, it will top $40 billion, and by 2019 mobile ad spend is expected to reach $65.87 billion. Desktop advertising, meanwhile, will remain relatively flat, at around $25 billion over the next few years.
So yes, mobile advertising is big and getting bigger. But within mobile, where will advertisers be putting their budgets?
Here eMarketer reports that in-app advertising is already outpacing mobile web browser ad dollars by a nearly 3-to-1 ratio. This year, advertisers will spend nearly $21 million to reach consumers engaged with mobile apps, compared to the $7.93 million they’ll spend on ads in mobile browsers. Next year, that gap will widen even further, with in-app ads growing 42.6% and mobile web ads “just” 36.8%.
This should come as no surprise to advertisers who have noticed just how captivating apps can be. From gaming and utility apps to social networking and healthcare apps, a vast majority of mobile content is consumed through apps as opposed to the mobile web. In fact, Flurry reported last year that 86% of time spent on mobile devices was devoted to mobile apps, a sign of just how engaging and “sticky” apps are.
The most popular formats, according to eMarketer, are display ads such as banners and rich media ad units, which collectively will bring in $14.67 billion this year and $33.90 billion by 2019. Search is a close second, with video predicted to be the fastest growing mobile ad format as it nearly triples from now to 2019.
Tapjoy has been evangelizing the effectiveness of in-app mobile advertising for years. At nearly 250,000 apps and a reach of over half a billion consumers worldwide, ours is among the largest mobile ad networks in the world, and we offer a variety of video, rich media, and display ad units to help advertisers connect with mobile consumers in the apps they use and love.
We’re glad that advertisers are finally catching on.