Mobile advertising to overtake print (and TV by 2016)


The mobile ad market in the UK is set to overtake print this year in terms of adspend, and is likely to overtake TV by 2016, according to new research.

The report, from eMarketer, indicates that mobile ad spending in the UK continues to show significant growth and is expected to rise 96.0% this year to just over £2 billion ($3.16 billion), up from more than £1.03 billion ($1.61 billion) in 2013.

Mobile will account for 13.4% of total media spending in the UK this year, compared with 13.6% for newspapers. In 2015, mobile will surpass print’s total, at 20.5% of all spending vs. 17.0%.


Back in 2010, the UK mobile advertising market was worth £83m, but by 2016 it is expected hit $4.46bn, according to the report.

UK mobile advertising will surpass TV ad spend to hit £4.5bn in 2016, and by 2018, eMarketer expects mobile to claim almost 40% of total paid media spending in the UK.

“Continued robust growth in the mobile channel is driving the bulk of [overall] digital ad growth in the UK,” said eMarketer. “The dramatic growth of mobile and video ad expenditures will boost digital ad spending throughout the forecast period.”

The total UK digital advertising market is forecast to be worth £7.25bn this year, £7.97bn in 2015 and £8.64bn in 2016.

“Mobile will account for nearly 30% of all digital ad spending this year, with this figure rising to more than half by 2016,” the research company said.

EMarketer estimates that the total UK ad market across all media will rise a healthy 6.6% this year to £15.1bn.

“A strong economy, high consumer confidence and increases in spending on digital, TV, radio and outdoor formats will spur what growth there is in total media ad spending,” the company said. “While digital, and especially mobile, are boosting total growth, other channels are flat or even losing ad revenues”.

Analysis- ‘The future king of ad platforms’

Andrew Goode, COO of Project Sunblock, comments on why the explosion in mobile could spell trouble for advertisers: “Mobile is set to be King of the ad platforms and brands are adapting rapidly, funnelling advertising spend away from TV, print and even traditional desktop display, and into mobile platforms. But putting more emphasis on mobile isn’t enough to ensure your ads have an impact. The fact is that advertisers still don’t have enough insight into where their ads are appearing online, let alone on mobile web. As it stands, thousands of ad impressions are wasted every day because advertisers have no idea where their display ads end up or if they are even seen. With billions being invested, advertisers need to make sure their profits are protected.

“Programmatic buying, particularly Real Time Bidding (RTB) has made tracking where digital ads are seen incredibly difficult and the same goes for mobile. With RTB, where bidding decisions are made in milliseconds, unless advertisers have real-time insight into where their ads are displaying it is impossible to keep track, meaning that they can end up against any type of content. This not only poses a significant risk to brand reputation, but also means that advertisers are wasting money on impressions that are either not seen at all, or are in entirely inappropriate places. Only the most proactive and forward thinking digital strategies will succeed in the mobile landscape. So advertisers will need to adapt to this mobile trend by enhancing their ability to monitor their ads across multiple devices, ensuring that their ROI isn’t being hindered by wasting budget on ads that aren’t being seen.”

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