What’s Happening:

Mobile is currently the second-largest advertising medium in the world, just behind television. However, if the current growth rates of mobile ads continued, mobile will overtake TV this year. The Marketer’s Toolkit from WARC surveyed 800 senior marketing and advertising professionals, with 71% reporting that they expect a rise in their mobile budgets in 2019, most of which will be going towards platforms owned by Google and Facebook.

Why it Matters:

80% of mobile ad market value has been created in the last five years, with a rapid increase in advertiser investment driven by the sharp rise in daily mobile internet consumption worldwide. Key growth markets in mobile usage are helping to push mobile advertising to take over TV: India, China, Indonesia, Pakistan and Nigeria are expected to account for half of all growth in mobile users.

This growth is largely due to consumption on social media platforms, which remain the primary focus for ad targeting. The WARC research across 96 markets shows that more than half of the global population (52%) access the internet via mobile phones — and that daily consumption has doubled since 2012. People now spend an average of three hours and 14 minutes on mobile internet per day, with 90% of that time in-app, primarily on social networks.

“Google- and Facebook-owned apps dominate mobile consumers’ lives, and this duopoly attracted over $150bn last year by pairing advertisers with users based on their data,” said James McDonald, data editor at WARC.

Digging Deeper:

  • WARC reported that mobile ad growth is being fueled by the boom in programmatic ad buying. Almost two-thirds (62.6%) of all digital display ad spend was automatically traded by machines in 2018.
  • The rollout of 5G in 2019 will boost mobile speed, facilitating a 4x increase in monthly data consumption.
  • Three in four internet users are predicted to be mobile-only by 2025, across the globe.
  • Mobile ad investment is forecast to reach two-thirds of all online video spend in both the U.S. and China.
  • The biggest concern for publishers are ad viewability and accurate measurement. About half of all non-video mobile display ads still do not meet the Media Ratings Council viewability standard of one continuous second.
  • Privacy is the biggest concern for consumers, which is often at odds with marketers for whom consumer data is a major resource.
Related:  NewsWhip announces the launch of the Social Research Center


The Bottom Line:

While there is still uncertainty about the effectiveness and ROI of mobile advertising, the growth and trends show all indications that mobile will become the number one ad medium in major markets globally during 2019.


You're busy, but you like to
get the best of digital media publishing.

Let it come to your inbox once
a week.