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Mobile Ad Spend Will Surpass Print This Year as Overall Ad Market Hits $180 Billion

Written on
Jul 15, 2014 
Author
Richard L. Tso  |

The mobile revolution is finally paying off for publishers and brands that have made investments in beefing up advertising on smartphones and tablets. According to a new report released by eMarketer, in 2014 the overall advertising market will increase by 5.3 percent to a staggering $180.12 billion, attributable to growth in ads for mobile and television.

Not since 2004 has the U.S. ad market increased by more than 5 percent. This year’s preliminary figures mark an inflection point for the ad industry that has patiently been awaiting consumer adoption to match advancements in mobile ad tech. According to analysts, these figures are expected to grow as mobile usage skyrockets over the next several years as the Connected Consumer Generation (Gen-C) enter the workforce and have more money to spend.

Mobile usage behaviors of Gen-C, a demographic between the ages of 18-34 coined by Nielsen, are unlike any previous generation. Americans born between the launch of the first Sony Walkman and commercialization of the Internet are known for being constantly connected to technology, tethered to mobile devices, social media and even viewing several screens like television and tablets simultaneously. The eMarketer report says that U.S. adults will spend an average of nearly three hours per day with mobile devices.

Needless to say, growing up in front of a screen certainly influences one’s psyche, attention, quest for information and analytical behavior. In the near future, mobile advertising may be the only way for advertisers to get branded messages in front of these individuals to sway purchasing decisions.

In fact, advertisers are spending 83 percent more on mobile phones and tablets over last year and mobile will account for roughly 10 percent of total U.S. ad spend this year, signaling a major shift in the way brands plan to allocate ad spend henceforth.

“With this emphatic shift to mobile devices, it is imperative to seize the opportunity and provide relevant content consumers connect with; when and where they want it. Zumobi has been focused on a mobile-first world since we started in 2006,” said Marla Schimke, VP of Marketing at mobile media company Zumobi.

As obvious as it may sound, traditional forms of media will soon become underfunded as mobile ads now surpass those for newspapers, magazines and radio for the first time ever. Ad dollars follow consumers’ gazes and attention. As The Wall Street Journal reported, “And you can thank Google and Facebook in large part for the big spike in mobile. The two have made mobile ad revenues a major part of their businesses. By 2016, eMarketer estimates Google and Facebook will represent 15% of the $200 billion U.S. advertising market.”

What does this mean to the average consumer? Not much, except for the fact that they should know most things they play, purchase or share online may be used to help companies market better to them in the future. It’s not as scary as people make it out to be as long as people realize they may be helping brands and companies to curate highly customized experiences for consumers online. In my opinion, receiving a personalized ad is much better than getting ones for both panty hose and Viagra on the same page.





Richard L. Tso is a reporter for Adotas and an avid writer covering the intersection of technology and advertising, fashion and music. With over 12 years of experience in the Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations industries, Richard has held executive positions at global agencies and technology companies and is founder of the interactive communications firm Pseudosound Consulting LLC. A classical cellist and painter, he believes that sometimes sound carries more weight than words. He is a graduate of Stanford University.

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