Mobile now world’s second-largest ad medium

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London, 30 November.– Mobile is now the world’s second-largest advertising medium, representing 23% of global adspend, according to a new report out from global ad site Warc.

Mobile has overtaken desktop internet for the first time this year.

With an anticipated year-on-year growth rate of 35.2%, mobile adspend across all formats is expected to amount to US$98.3bn in 2017, representing 23% of global spend.

Focusing on mobile, this latest Global Ad Trends report includes key findings based on data from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom and United States – which between them account for approximately two-thirds of the value of global ad trade.

Warc estimates that 51% of total mobile advertising expenditure for this year will be allocated to search. Display formats are expected to account for 45% and classified and other spend 4%.

The largest mobile markets are the US, China and the UK. TV is expected to remain the world’s largest ad medium by spend this year and next, at around $139bn.

Almost all of Facebook’s ad revenue now comes from mobile.

Social networking accounts for over a third of daily online time via all devices (2hrs 15mins), and one in seven people (1.1bn) access Facebook via a mobile device each day.

Mobile’s share of Facebook’s ad revenue is expected to equate to 88% ($34bn) for 2017, up 5 percentage points from 2016.

“TV will remain the world’s largest ad medium by spend this year – and next.”

With mobile display adspend expected to reach $45.2bn within 12 key markets this year, there is a strong correlation between Facebook’s global mobile ad growth and the growth of mobile display in the markets.

However whilst mobile growth will far outpace all other media, as Facebook’s mobile ad revenue growth eases (a forecast rise of 40% in 2017 versus 70% in 2016), global mobile display growth will also cool.

The duopoly of Facebook and Google accounts for a quarter of global advertising spend

A comparison of company revenues with data in Warc’s Adspend Database, which contains adspend data for 96 markets, shows that the duopoly of Facebook and Google will account for 61% of all online advertising expenditure this year, up from 58% in 2016 and 47% in 2012.

Further, the anticipated US$133bn in combined revenue will equate to a quarter of all adspend worldwide in 2017, up from a fifth in 2016 and just 9.4% in 2012.

Warc data ed James McDonald said: “Daily mobile time has more than doubled over the last five years – from 1hr 17mins in 2012 to 3hrs 2mins in 2017 – and our research demonstrates how marketers are looking to capitalise on this by investing more in social, video and native mobile formats over the coming years.

“Much of this influx has been to the benefit of the duopoly – Facebook and Google – where one in four dollars of global advertising is now spent.”

Mobile advertising accounts for:

  • 23% of global advertising spend this year
  • 55% of North American marketers aim to focus on mobile branded content by 2022
  • 88% of Facebook’s ad revenue attributed to mobile in 2017
  • 92% of Facebook’s daily users use mobile
  • 135% increase in daily mobile time since 2012

Other new key media intelligence on Warc Data

  • Programmatic accounts for over a third of the value of US ad trade
  • Advertising expenditure has grown faster than the global economy since 1980
  • 100% pixels is twice as effective as current online video industry standard

Wacd Data is available by subscription only. For more information visit

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