Mobile Nears Half of US Online Ad Revenues

November 4, 2016

iabpwc-online-ad-revenues-by-format-h1-2016-nov2016It’s been a year of milestones for mobile, and it appears that another threshold will be reached this year: mobile devices are close to capturing the majority share of US online ad revenues, according to the latest revenue report [pdf] from the IAB and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Indeed, mobile devices accounted for 47% share of online ad revenues in the first half of this year.

That’s a huge jump from 30% share of revenues during the first half of 2015. With mobile advertising growing at a rapid pace – up 89% year-over-year in H1 – it’s not hard to imagine that they’ll claim a majority of online ad revenues by year’s end.

Overall, online ad revenues increased by 19.1% year-over-year during H1 to $32.7 billion, though growth was not distributed evenly across formats:

  • Desktop search spend decreased by 12%; share of total spend declined to 27%;
  • Mobile search spend more than doubled (a 105% increase);
  • Total search spend inclusive of mobile increased by 19%; share of total spend stands at 50%;
  • Desktop display spend dropped by 7%; share of total spend declined to 19%;
  • Total display inclusive of mobile increased by 26^; share of total spend stands at 43%;
  • Desktop classifieds revenues dropped by 29%, while desktop lead generation revenues inched up by about 2%; and
  • Social ad spend enjoyed a 57% rise, to $7 billion.

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Taking a closer look at display advertising:

  • Banner ad spend was down by about 10-11% on desktops, falling to 10% share of all online ad revenues; while
  • Video ad spend on desktops grew by 15% and video ad spend on mobile devices soared by 178%, such that total video ad spend jumped by 51%.

In other results from the report, there continues to be heavy concentration in online ad revenues, as the top 10 ad-selling companies accounted for 74% of all revenues in Q2, up from 72% during the year-earlier period. The retail industry continued to account for the largest share of online ad spending (21%), consistent with the prior year, and followed by financial services (13%) and auto (12%).

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