Mobile advertising spend to pass desktop spend in 2016


It’s predicted that in 2016, the total amount spent on mobile advertising will for the first time surpass desktop ad spend, after almost reaching parity in 2015. The estimates come from research carried out by eMarketer, where desktop ad spending is placed at $29b in 2015 compared to $28b for mobile, but increasing to $40b against $26b next year. Looking further into the future, eMarketer sees desktop ad spend level out around $25b, while mobile will continue to climb and potentially reach $65b in 2019.

Mobile to pass desktop ad spend in 2016

mobile desktop

However, while the overall figure will increase, the percentage change will decrease. This year sees a 50% rise over 2014’s mobile ad spending, but this will steadily fall between now and 2019, according to the data. Next year will still be a considerable 41% increase, but this is expected to fall dramatically to 23% in 2017, then to 16% in 2018, and 14% in 2019.

Total mobile advertising spend in the U.S.

mobile ad spend 2

The research also looks at how mobile ad spending compares to the total ad spend in the U.S. – covering banners, video, email, messages, and more – in its entirety. This year, 15% is dedicated to mobile, but this will rise to 20% next year, and eventually top 28% in 2019. At this time, mobile will dominate digital advertising at 72% of the spend, up from 49% this year. Mobile display ads will continue to be the most popular choice for advertisers.

eMarketer notes the shift to mobile over other forms of digital advertising comes from a change in the devices people use to go online. In the U.S., desktop computers were used on average 2 hours 12 minutes each day, a figure that has declined against 2013, while mobile increased to 2 hours 51 minutes. Other studies have shown mobile becoming more commonly used for online shopping.

Comparing mobile ad spend to mobile web ad spend

mobile ad spend

Finally, in-app ads will remain more popular than mobile web ads, with more than $20b expected to be spent in 2015, compared to just under $8b for mobile web – accounting for 73% of the total mobile advertising spending in the U.S.. Next year, both figures will increase, with the in-app total reaching $29b and mobile web $10b. Interestingly, app install ad investment will jump by 115% in 2015 to $1.67b, but still only represent 8.7% of the mobile ad spending total.