Mobile Ad Spending Higher Than Ever, According to Recent IAB Survey

A new report has been released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) stating that mobile advertising grew exponentially over the past year — not just in the U.S., but on a global scale.

According to AdWeek and Marketing Land, global mobile ad revenue reached $31.9 billion in 2014, which was a 64% increase from mobile advertising expenditures in 2013.

Considering that 67% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a business that maintains a good mobile website — primarily because more consumers are using smartphones or tablets to access the internet, rather than desktops — it’s no surprise that there’s such an emphasis on mobile advertising as well.

But as many businesses have already discovered, the rules that apply to mobile advertising are often very different from the rules that apply to traditional online advertising. When it comes to mobile advertising, all ads are not equal.

According to the report, mobile display ads — for the first time ever — actually had the most growth in the past year, compared to search ads and messaging ads. Mobile display ads in 2013 made up a mere $8 billion of revenue; in 2014, that number grew by a whopping 88.1% to reach $15.1 billion, comprising nearly half (47.4%) of the total revenue brought in through mobile advertising.

Search ad revenue saw growth as well, reaching $14.6 billion after growing by 46.1% over the past year and comprising 55.2% of total ad revenue. Messaging ads increased by only 13% and make up just over 6% of total ad revenue.

Mobile display ads, as defined by the IAB, are perhaps a little different from what online advertisers consider to be display ads; AdWeek explained that the IAB considers display ads to be “any promo viewed on any app or mobile website, which includes video, rich media, social media and banner ads.”

Furthermore, as AdWeek aptly noted, the new report helps advertisers figure out where they should be investing their money, but what it fails to do — because of how the IAB classifies display ads — is tell advertisers where on the screen the ads should be placed.

Despite its shortcomings, the survey does show something very important: with mobile advertising growing so quickly, it’s important for businesses to expect a sharp increase in mobile ad spending.

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