Mobile Monday: Catching up with Time Spent

Posted Oct 16, 2017

In this edition of Mobile Monday, we are examining how the latest industry data shows how advertisers are beginning to catch up with consumer media behaviors.

Evolving Ad Spend Expectations
Recently, eMarketer released their new ad spending forecasts for 2016 through 2021, and the shifts since their last forecast are telling. In short, television projections were lowered while digital forecasts were increased.

With respect to television’s reduced forecast, it seems as though prior estimates had been skewed by ad spending during the 2016 Olympics and the US presidential election. As investment in television advertising in the US has been lower thus far in 2017, eMarketer’s global television forecast was lowered accordingly.

Meanwhile, digital ad spending estimates across all regions were increased, led by growth in APAC as well as Central and Eastern Europe. Within digital, mobile ad spending estimates were also increased overall, though estimates for Western Europe were lowered.

So what does all this mean? Simply put, the shift away from television in favor of mobile advertising is happening faster than was expected. Now, digital ad spending will account for half of all media spend by 2021, and mobile will account for three-fourths of that.

Indeed, the mobile advertising ecosystem is poised for rather healthy growth, as eMarketer notes that “mobile ad spending worldwide will increase 33.6% in 2017 and will continue to climb at a robust pace” for the foreseeable future.

Catching up to Consumers
All of these forecast shifts mean one thing: advertisers are better aligning their ad spend with consumer behavior. Indeed, according to new estimates on consumer time spent with media, time spent with television continues to decline as consumers shift their attention to other devices.

While digital devices now account for 50.4% of all time spent, only 42.9% of advertising is currently spent on mobile or desktop. However, eMarketer projects that this gap will close over the next two years, with 49.1% of ad spend going to digital formats in 2019. Meanwhile, both share of time spent and advertising budgets spent on television are expected to decline over the same period.

What is perhaps most interesting is that we are now pacing towards an advertising ecosystem where mobile is over-indexed relative to time spent. Currently, mobile devices account for 28.1% of time spent and 30.2% of advertising budgets. While time spent on mobile is expected to increase modestly (to 30.4%) by 2019, ad spend on mobile is expected to grow even faster. Indeed, eMarketer projects that 38.3% of all advertising spend will be on mobile by 2019.

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