Mobile In-App Ads Expected to Top Desktop Ads in Spend Next Year

March 26, 2015

eMarketer-US-Digital-Ad-Spend-Forecast-by-Device-2013-2019-Mar2015Mobile ad spending in the US will grow by 50% this year to exceed $28.7 billion, representing 49% share of digital ad spending, details eMarketer in a new forecast. With strong spending growth predicted again next year – of 41% – mobile will overtake desktops and average 60.4% of digital ad spending and more than one-fifth (20.4%) of total media ad spending, per the forecast.

Driven by consumers’ increasing time spent with mobile devices, eMarketer predicts that marketers will allocate almost three-quarters (72.2%) of their digital ad spending to mobile devices by 2019, with mobile representing more than one-quarter (28.6%) of total media ad budgets by then.

The new forecast segments mobile ad spending into mobile applications and the mobile web for the first time, estimating that 71.4% share of spend last year went to mobile apps. That share should grow this year (to 72.4%) and next year (to 73.2%), per the forecast. That means that next year, in-app ads should equate to roughly 44% share of US digital ad spending, compared to 39.6% share of spend going to desktops.

The preference for in-app spending over the mobile web isn’t surprising given that last year, time spent with mobile apps surpassed desktop web access.

Meanwhile, display and search will continue to dominate mobile ad spending throughout the forecast period, demonstrating similar rates of growth. Mobile display (which includes banners, rich media, sponsorships, video, and other) is expected to grow from an estimated $9.65 billion in spending last year to $33.9 billion in 2019. Video, while a relatively small part of mobile display ad spending, will see strong growth rates, rising from $1.54 billion last year to $6.86 billion in 2019.

For its part, mobile search ad spending is expected to grow from $8.7 billion to $28.4 billion during that time frame. Late last year, eMarketer forecast that mobiles would overtake desktops in search ad spending this year.

In fact, a new Marin Software study [download page] predicts that mobile will crack a majority share of global search ad spending by the third quarter of this year, while breaking the majority threshold of global display ad spending by mid-year. Overall, Marin Software expects global mobile ad spending to surpass desktop ad spending this year.

(The Marin Software study is based on leading brands and advertisers that manage more than $6 billion in annualized search, social, and display spend. These advertisers represented all major industries alongside the following countries or regions: Australia; Brazil; Canada; China; Eurozone; India; Japan; Mexico; New Zealand; Russia; Singapore; the UK; and the US.)

About the Data: eMarketer’s mobile ad spending figures include ad spending on tablets. Display ad spending includes ad such as Facebook’s News Feed Ads and Twitter’s Promoted Tweets.

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