Mobile advertising growing fastThat’s the question posed by a lengthy article in Adweek.  The writer cites a number of statistics familiar to anybody with knowledge of the explosive growth of mobile:

  • Mobile ad spending is estimated to hit $19 billion in 2014 and $58 billion by 2018.  (In a recent blog post, we indicated 2014 ad spend will be $18 billion, so it’s possible that overall growth will continue to outpace projections.)
  • Mobile usage may have already overtaken every other screen in the home for media consumption.  According to one source, consumers spend 147 minutes each day on their smartphones, compared to 113 minutes watching TV, 108 minutes on laptops and 50 minutes on tablets.
  • The TV business is starting to feel the pressure.  The Big Four broadcast networks continue to see declining ratings.  And cable cutting is increasing: cable and satellite subscriptions declined versus the year prior, an industry first.

Advertisers are picking up on the spread of mobile advertising, but the small screen is still dramatically underrepresented in most advertising budgets relative to its consumer adoption.  One study found that while 20% of consumer media time is spent on mobile devices, mobile advertising represents just 4% of ad dollars.

At some point, mobile advertising won’t be a lagging indicator, but will catch up to where the consumer already is.  But as an advertiser, ask yourself: How far behind the curve do I really want to be?