The Net gravitates towards smartphones

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Mobile devices will account for 75% of global internet use next year, according to Zenith Asia Pacific’s new Mobile Advertising Forecasts report.

The mobile proportion of internet use has increased rapidly, from 40% in 2012 to 68% in 2016. And the Singapore/Auckland agency forecasts it will reach 79% by 2018.

The first edition of the report looks at mobile advertising and mobile technology in 60 countries. It forecasts the rising amount of time consumers devote to mobile internet use, the spread of smartphones and tablets, and the growth of mobile adspend.

“Mobile devices are already the primary means of accessing the internet across the world,’ said Jonathan Barnard, head of forecasting at Zenith Singapore, in a statement. “Countries in Western Europe, Asia and North America are leading the transition, but mobile technology is spreading rapidly everywhere.

“Next year mobile devices will become the main vehicle for internet advertising as well.” Report highlights Hong Kong and China lead mobile internet consumption in Asia The countries with the highest levels of mobile internet consumption are dispersed across Western Europe, Asia and North America. Hong Kong comes second globally, with 79% of internet use being mobile, followed by China (76%) and the United States (74%). Italy and India come joint fifth, at 73% each.

Tablets not so hot
The increase in mobile internet use is, of course, being driven by the rapid rise in the penetration of mobile devices. In 2012 just 23% of people in 60 markets had a smartphone, and 4% had a tablet. Smartphone penetration has now reached 56%, an increase of 2.4 times over four years, and the agency forecasts it will rise to 63% by 2018.

Ireland is estimated to have the highest smartphone penetration this year, at 92%, followed by Singapore (91%), Spain (88%), Norway (86%) and South Korea (84%).

Tablet use varies widely. Tablets are more of a luxury item. Only 15% of people in 60 markets own one now, and Zenith expects them reach 17% penetration in 2018.

The highest level of tablet penetration is in Singapore (at 75%), and Thailand matches China for the lowest (3%).

Internet advertising
Sixty percent of internet advertising will be mobile in 2018. Zenith believes mobile advertising will overtake desktop advertising in 2017, increasing its share of global internet advertising to 52% from 44% this year. In 2018, the agency expects mobile advertising to account for 60 percent of all internet advertising. That year mobile advertising expenditure will total US$134 billion, which is more than will be spent on newspaper, magazine, cinema and outdoor advertising put together.

What it means for advertisers; Zenith advises that all brands need to become mobile-first in their digital communication: all assets—from brand websites to video ads—should be built to deliver the best and most effective experiences on mobile devices. Advertisers also need to think about consumer mobility, not just mobile devices.

During the day consumers shift their attention from tablet to desktop to smartphone, sometimes while watching TV, so advertisers need to build brand experiences that are coherent across screens and devices.

Zenith also recommends that advertisers consider the full mobile ecosystem, including smartwatches, activity trackers and other smart devices, when planning their communications. Consumers tend to use the more specialised devices on very specific

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