Mobile Becomes Second-Largest Ad Medium, Overtaking Desktop

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WASHINGTON – Mobile ad spend across all formats is expected to reach $98.3 billion in 2017, representing 23 percent of worldwide advertising expenditure, reports marketing intelligence service company WARC.

That growth now ranks mobile as the second-largest ad medium by spend, overtaking desktop internet.

James McDonald, WARC data editor, says that daily mobile time has more than doubled during the past five years – from one hour and 17 minutes in 2012 to more than three hours in 2017. “Our research demonstrates how marketers are looking to capitalize on this by investing more in social, video, and native mobile formats over the coming years,” he adds.

WARC says TV is expected to remain the world’s largest ad medium by spend this year and next, at around $139 billion.

WARC also predicts mobile ad spend will hit 35.2 percent year-on-year dollar growth in 2017, with 51 percent of the total allocated to search, followed by display formats (45 percent), and classified and other spend (4 percent).

The findings are based on data from WARC’s 12 key markets of Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, which collectively account for approximately two-thirds of the value of global ad trade.

Advertisers in these markets are expected to spend $45.2 billion on mobile display this year and the report found a strong correlation between Facebook’s global mobile ad growth and the growth of mobile display in these markets.

Mobile is expected to account for 88 percent ($34 billion) of Facebook’s ad revenue in 2017, but its growth is forecast to ease to 40 percent in 2017 (compared with 70 percent growth in 2016).

Facebook and Google will account for 61 percent of all online ad spend this year, up from 58 percent in 2016, and 47 percent in 2012. Their anticipated $133 billion in combined revenue will equate to one-quarter of all global ad spending in 2017, up from one-fifth in 2016, and just 9.4 percent in 2012.