Mobile Video Fuels Huge Growth in Online Ad Spend

While we’ve all seen the rapid growth of mobile adoption, mobile ad spend and mobile video in the past four-five years, there’s some new research out of Forrester showcasing exactly how massive the context is:

  • Mobile is forecast to account for 72% of the growth in spending on online video advertising, while its share of the online video ad market will grow from 50% this year to 59% by 2023.
  • The in-app share of mobile video will grow from 78% this year to 84% in 2023, the firm predicted. The bias toward in-app ads for mobile video is based on the fact that instream video ads make up more than 80% of video ad spend share.

Screen Shot 2018-07-20 at 10.46.14 AM

If you’re unfamiliar with instream, it’s biased toward in-app viewing, in large part based on the high in-app shares for the two most popular video sites, YouTube and Netflix. But in an era where “data is the new oil,” there’s more: More than half (54%) of marketers said that in-app ads offer more accurate user data, compared with only 30% who said the same for mobile web ads.

At the same time, we’re coming up hard and fast on the major holiday season -- we already know one person with a tree up -- and there’s seemingly good news on that front too, per RetailMeNot research:

On Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend alone, they plan to spend an average of $803 on gifts vs. the $743 they spent in 2017. That's an 8% jump. Why the increase? Consumers cited a variety of reasons, including earning more this year, feeling greater excitement about the holidays, shopping for more people, having more confidence in the economy, carrying less debt and having more money due to tax cuts.

Add the two together and here’s where you net out:

  • We’re coming up on a strong holiday season.
  • A lot of it will be driven by mobile.

A whole new era for Holiday Shopping

In fact, beyond mobile we might be talking about the first “AI Holidays” here -- it’s expected that 35% of retail revenues will be powered by AI recommendations this year.

Back to the mobile surge, though. What’s driving that? Well, continued accessibility of smartphones -- and pricing plans that generally put them in reach of more consumers -- is a major factor. But there are now more phones than ever with screens of 4.5 inches or more, making it easier to consume content and driving up ad quality (and long-form quality), both of which are important to most marketing teams. Plus, now you have phones like the Galaxy A9 that have four rear cameras, and the rise of 5G is coming, so speeds and functionality are still increasing, despite the supposed end of Moore’s Law.

In short: people always have their smartphones (“KWP,” or Keys Wallet Phone, in the words of Broad City), the functionality is improving, the quality of content is improving, the user data -- which was always the great promise of mobile -- is improving, and marketers are flocking to the mobile space to reach their targets. And as this is all converging around the end of a calendar year, expect it to be the biggest holiday season on mobile ever.

What this means for you: make sure your mobile strategy is locked in.