Mobile Ad Spending Soars 75%

March 23, 2014 by Paul Ausick

Spending on mobile advertising worldwide more than doubled in 2013 to $17.96 billion and 2014 growth is reckoned at 75% to a global total of $31.5 billion. The 2014 total represents about 25% of all spending on digital ads and the two big beneficiaries have been and will continue to be Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) and Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG). The duo combined to take more than two-thirds of the 2013 mobile ad spend.

Which vertical markets are spending the most and what are their goals? Millennial Media Inc. (NYSE: MM), which provides data analysis to advertisers, has just released a report on mobile ad spending in 2013 by vertical market and by advertisers’ goals. The data on ad spending was published by eMarketer last week.

According to Millennial Media, the top five vertical markets ranked by 2013 spending are entertainment, retail, telecommunications, finance and consumer goods. Retail and entertainment switched positions at the top of the list and consumer goods replace automotive spending at number 5.

Spending on consumer goods advertising rose 134% in 2014, but the biggest increase in year-over-year spending came in sports advertising, up nearly 500%.

Ad campaign goals also shifted in 2013, with site/mobile traffic replacing sustained in-market presence as the top goal — 30% of all 2013 spending was directed at traffic growth, up from 14% in 2012. Brand awareness campaigns increase from 14% to 22% year-over-year, while in-market presence campaigns fell from 39% to 24%.

Using rich media and video ads boosted click-through rates by 350% in automotive advertising when compared with standard banner ads. Education ads also saw a boost of 350% with rich media and video, while technology advertising saw a rise of 290% and consumer goods and travel each saw a rise of 260%.

The top apps for 2013 were games, music & entertainment, communications, productivity & tools and mobile social media. The top five were the same as in 2012, although the order of the last three changed.

Viewed by operating system platform, Android grew its share from 48% to 54% and iOS from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) grew its share from 32% to 38%. BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY) saw its share fall from 16% to 7% and Microsoft Corp.’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows’ share fell from 3% to 1%.

According to eMarketer, Facebook grew its revenue from mobile advertising from 11% of the company’s total in 2012 to 45.1% in 2013, and eMarketer forecasts that mobile ad spending will comprise 63.4% of Facebook’s digital ad revenue in 2014.

Google garnered 23.1% of its total 2013 ad revenues from mobile; that’s expected to rise to 33.8% in 2014. The not-so-good news for Google is that eMarketer expects desktop search to post a significant decline in 2014. The research firm said desktop search ad spending grew just 2.3% in 2013, and it expects spending to decline by $1.4 billion, or 9.4%, in 2014. Google’s ad revenues from desktop search accounted for 76.4% of search ad revenues in 2013. That is predicted to decline to 66.3% this year.