Technology IAB Mobile

Mobile surpasses 50% of all US digital ad spend for the first time ever


By Lisa Lacy | n/a

April 26, 2017 | 4 min read

Mobile advertising accounted for more than half (51%) of the $72.5bn spent on digital advertising in the US in 2016. That’s according to the latest IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report, which noted this is the first time this has happened.

Mobile ad spend made up more than 50% of digital ad spend for the first time ever last year.

Mobile ad spend made up more than 50% of digital ad spend for the first time ever last year.

The report also found total US digital ad spend was up 22% from $59.6bn in 2015.

Meanwhile, mobile specifically saw a 77% jump from $20.7bn in 2015, hitting $36.6bn in 2016.

What’s more, digital video hit a record $9.1bn in 2016, which the IAB said marks a 53% increase from $5.9bn in 2015.

Perhaps not surprisingly, video revenue on mobile devices was up 145% year-over-year with nearly $4.2bn.

“In a mobile world, it is no surprise that mobile ad revenues now take more than half of the digital market share,” said David Doty, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at the IAB, in a release. “Digital video’s powerful ability to attract engaged audiences is naturally attracting greater investments.”

For its part, social media advertising generated $16.3bn in 2016, which the IAB said marks a 50% increase from $10.9bn in 2015.

Search revenue hit nearly $35bn in 2016, which is up 19% from $29.5bn in 2015.

The report also measured digital audio for the first time. The IAB said it brought in $1.1bn in 2016.

“Mobile, social, video and programmatic trends combine to redefine the digital landscape, providing unprecedented access for advertisers to reach consumers,” said David Silverman, partner at professional services network PwC US, in the release. “Digital audio…speaks to the continued evolution of new formats that enable marketers to find audiences at home, behind their desks or wherever they are.”

The IAB said it sponsors the Internet Advertising Revenue Report, but it is conducted independently by PwC.

The report also found the biggest spenders in digital advertising hail from retail, which represents 21.3% of US spend in 2016, followed by financial services at 13.3%, automotive at 12.5% and media at 5.2%.

“Mobile fueled the internet economy in 2016, with advertisers showing their confidence in digital to achieve their marketing goals,” said Randall Rothenberg, president and chief executive of the IAB, in a statement. “This increasing commitment is a reflection of brands’ ongoing marketing shift from ‘mobile-first’ to ‘mobile-only’ in order to keep pace with today’s on-the-go consumers.”

The IAB noted 2016 closed on a particularly strong note, with Q4 revenue hitting a record $21.6bn, which is up more than 24% year-over-year. In addition, mobile took an even greater share of the final quarter’s US digital advertising revenue than it did for the year as a whole, claiming 53% of total revenue in the fourth quarter.

The full Internet Advertising Revenue report is issued twice yearly for full- and half-year data and top-line quarterly estimates are issued for the first and third quarters, the IAB said.

Technology IAB Mobile

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