Publisher Investment in Mobile is Paying Off

For years, publishers and journalists have been taught to think “mobile first.”

It’s finally paying off in dividends.

Mobile advertising spending now accounts for 47 percent of digital ad spending, an 89 percent increase over last year. It now outpaces desktop search according to an IAB report.

Digital advertising spend increased to $32.7 billion during the first six months of 2016, according to the latest Internet Advertising Revenue Report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (a trade group for digital publishers and advertisers). This is an all-time high.

A report from eMarketer predicted that digital ad spending will surpass TV ad spending in 2017. During Facebook’s first quarter, mobile ad spending accounted for 82 percent of the company’s entire ad revenue stream.

Publishers are slowly gaining an understanding for effective digital ads. It took a while for advertisers to break out of the banner ad formula used on desktops to find out what works on mobile. Personal, native advertising plays well on a mobile platform.

It is very disruptive to have a pop-up on a mobile screen. Because of the proximity of the viewer to the device, mobile is a more intimate experience than other platforms. Video and search advertising are on the rise this year for mobile. The more personal and intimate you can make the experience, the better.

Short, muted videos are doing especially well. These auto-playing videos require the viewer to click for sound, making them less invasive. Increasingly they also display the dialogue on the screen, eliminating the need to unmute altogether.

There is more targeting available in mobile advertising. The data cache is almost unlimited: age, gender, location. However, the focus should not stray from creating good, non-disruptive ads for the mobile platform.

In a speech at the IAPI/ADFX awards in Ireland, Bob Hoffman, author of the popular “Ad Contrarian” blog said, “The consumer never sees the briefing documents or the strategic rationale. All she ever sees are the ads. And if the ads stink, the whole thing stinks.”

In an interview with Digiday, Warren Zenna, EVP and managing director of Mobext suggests one highly targeted ad was more powerful on mobile versus 12 lower quality display ads that are on desktop pages.

“The smart publishers are putting up only one ad and charging a lot for it,” Zenna said.


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