Smartwatch advertising spend to reach $68m in 2019

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Advertising on smartwatches is about to explode in popularity, according to a new report published by Juniper Research, and it’s being driven by Apple and other high profile device manufacturers taking the market more seriously.

The company’s data shows that this year, a mere $1.5m will be spent on wearable advertising, but in the next four years this will vastly increase, culminating in a $68.6m estimated spend in 2019. The Apple Watch, set to go on sale at the end of April, will help the smartwatch find more mainstream acceptance, and the device was apparently pre-ordered by more than a million people in the U.S. over the opening weekend.

The LG Watch Urbane is one of the latest, and most stylish, Android Wear smartwatches

LG Watch Urbane

Juniper says smartwatches represent a new screen opportunity on which advertisers can display ads, but the market requires an established user base before many should, or will, commit. Until then, it expects ad hoc campaigns to be the focus of smartwatch-based marketing plans.

When the user base reaches a size where campaigns become more common place, new ad formats will be needed, due to the size of the screens fitted to a smartwatch. An entire rethinking of how ads engage with people is also required. Users engage with wearables in a completely different way to a smartphone or tablet, particularly in terms of time spent looking at the display, which can measure seconds rather than minutes. It’ll be a challenge to present an engaging ad during this time.

Juniper’s research into the future of smartwatch and wearable advertising campaigns is part of its Digital Advertising: Online, Mobile & Wearables 2014-2019 report, which can be purchased and downloaded from here.