- Mobile is the fastest-growing digital ad medium, as advertisers begin allocating dollars to catch up with audience time-spend. US mobile ad revenue will top nearly $42 billion in 2018, rising by a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 43% from 2013, according to BI Intelligence estimates based on 2013 data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).
- Display and video will be the fastest-growing mobile ad formats as digital ad dollars quickly shift from desktop to mobile and as ad products improve. US display and video ad revenues will grow at an astonishing CAGR of 96% and 73%, respectively, between 2013 and 2018.
- But search and social media will still account for the largest share of US mobile ad revenue during the forecast period. Search is a strong format on mobile because of its convergence with local-mobile targeting. Mobile-social spend is rising in keeping with consumers' social networking on mobile. Search and social media ad revenues will reach $17.7 billion and $9.2 billion, respectively, in 2018.
- Mobile programmatic ad revenues, including ads sold through real-time bidding (RTB), will account for 43% of US mobile display-related ad revenue in 2018, up from only a 6% share in 2013. But programmatic will still be limited by the lack of robust cookie-based targeting on mobile. We estimate US mobile programmatic ad spend will rise to over $10 billion in 2018, with $6.8 billion of this revenue coming from RTB.
- In-app mobile ads perform much better than mobile web ads, and ad spend will most likely follow performance and usage. In-app click-through rates averaged 0.56% globally compared with 0.23% for mobile web ads during the first half of the year, according to Medialets.
Mobile Ad Spend Is Surging