2014 saw a 65% increase in advertising for mobile, growing it into a $31.9 billion industry. This is according to a new report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), which measured global spending on mobile advertising.
Via Lauren Johnson's "Mobile Spending Is Growing Like Crazy, but Where Is It Going?" in AdWeek, the biggest growth was in mobile display ads, which grew nearly 90% last year to a little over $15 billion. While the IAB report gives a very broad definition of 'mobile display,' as "any promo viewed on any app or mobile website, which includes video, rich media, social media and banner ads," Johnson notes that IAB has used the same methodology in each of their spending surveys, so it is internally consistent, at least.
The numbers from IAB don't specify types of advertising, so we don't know what was spent on banner ads versus native versus social, but, according to Johnson, it is safe to assume that onus was spent on the social media behemoths like Facebook and Twitter. More details from the numbers can be found in Johnson's article, but the overall lesson seems to be that the mobile advertising business is booming.
This shouldn't be surprising, considering the rate at which not just mobile devices, but smart phones and tablets have been adopted across the globe. According to the Pew Research Center, more than 60% of Americans own a smart phone, with 90% owning some kind of mobile phone. The number of people worldwide with a smart phone will pass 2 billion in 2016, with more than 6 billion smart phone users globally by 2020. It seems natural that advertising spending for all those devices would be shooting right up alongside those kind of numbers.