Mobile To Dominate Digital Ad Spend In 2016

That was quick. It seems like only yesterday (OK, it was a few years ago) that everybody kept predicting “mobile is about to take off” but it just kept on, uh, not happening. Well, now it’s happened. A new report from eMarketer predicts that mobile will account for half (49%) of all digital advertising spend this year, rising to 60.4% in 2016, and reaching 72.2% by 2019.

As a proportion of total media ad spending, mobile advertising will jump from 15.3% this year to 20.4% in 2016, reaching 28.6% in 2019, according to eMarketer.

This growth is even more impressive when you consider where mobile came from: back in 2013 it contributed just 24.7% of total digital ad spending and 6.3% of total media spending. In other words it will have increased its share of digital ad spending threefold and its share of media spending almost fivefold in just six years.

The proportional increase isn’t due just to mobile’s growth; desktop spending will also decline. In dollar terms, eMarketer has mobile spending jumping from $28.7 billion this year to $40.5 billion in 2016, and $65.9 billion by 2019. Meanwhile over the same period desktop will fall from $29.9 billion this year to $26.6 billion in 2016 and $25.4 billion in 2019 (although the latter figure would represent a slight recovery from a trough in 2017-18).



The ad spending trends mirror changes in media consumption patterns. The amount of time the average U.S. adult spent using mobile devices increased from 2 hours 19 minutes in 2013 to 2 hours 51 minutes in 2014, while time spent with desktop fell from parity with mobile in 2013 to 2 hours 12 minutes in 2013.

Turning to formats, mobile display will still get the lion’s share of mobile ad spending, at $14.7 billion in 2015, compared to $12.9 billion for mobile search. Mobile video, counted here as a segment display, will garner “just” $2.6 billion.

All mobile formats are poised for strong growth, with mobile display set to increase to $20.8 billion in 2016 and $33.9 billion by 2019; within those figures, video will account for $3.9 billion in 2016 and $6.9 billion in 2019. Meanwhile, mobile search will grow to $17.9 billion in 2016 and $28.4 billion by 2019.

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