“The trend has been that mobile was winning… it’s now won.” That quote from Google Chairman Eric Schmidt is how influential analyst Doug Anmuth and his team of researchers at J.P. Morgan chose to lead off the U.S. Internet “themes” section of the securities firm’s annual “Nothing But Net” report advising investors on which Internet companies to invest in for the year ahead. With mobile usage already crossing the 50% tipping point of total “online” usage, the analysts predict that “monetization” -- advertising and commerce -- will “catch-up” this year.
Citing Interpublic’s Mediabrands’ Magna estimates of $15.9 billion in mobile ad spending this year, Anmuth writes: “We expect to see key stakeholders’ success increasingly impacted by their ability to take advantage of the mobile shift, including companies with an online advertising-driven business model, and retailers and e-commerce operators.”
While mobile is the bright spot, the report is bullish on overall prospects for the Internet sector, and assigns virtually every company stock tracked by J.P. Morgan an “overweight” rating for investors. In fact, most of the key players driving mobile ad monetization -- Twitter, Facebook, Google, Pandora, and the ilk -- are the same ones ranked atop the report’s overall Internet sector recommendations.
Singling out Pandora and Facebook as “achieving superior mobile monetization” that is “closing the gap” between mobile usage and revenue, Anmuth says all the pieces are coming together to attract major brands and agencies.
“These companies have been able to generate increased mobile advertising demand from higher-quality advertisers,” he writes. “Given the data these companies possess and innovation in mobile ad formats, they have benefited from a mix of pricing and volume increases. For example, Pandora’s video and audio ads command premium pricing to mobile display ads with [cost-per-thousands] in the $15-$25, $8-$12, and $5-$7 range, respectively.”
Among the other key factors driving mobile’s ad surge are elements that are driving overall digital advertising growth, including the rapid acceleration of so-called “native” advertising formats, and programmatic media-buying, which Anmuth opines are improving both the effectiveness and efficiency of advertising buys.