- Mobile ad spending in the U.S. will make up a third of total ad spending this year, surpassing TV as the leading ad medium, according to a forecast by researcher eMarketer. TV will capture 31.6% of media spending, followed by desktop (14.6%), print (9.1%) and radio (6.5%).
- Mobile advertising overall will grow more than 3x faster than total media this year. That growth will boost mobile's share to 47.9% of total media spending by 2022, the researcher predicts, as well as escalating ad prices as brands vie for mobile placements.
- Google and Facebook's combined ad revenues will surpass total TV spending by 2019, the researcher estimated. This year, the advertising "duopoly" will capture 27.6% of all ad spending as Google's ad sales are set to grow 15% to $39.9 billion and Facebook will likely see a 17% increase to $21 billion.
Mobile commerce is some of the fuel that's driving the strong growth in the ad space as mobile conversions are expected to surpass those for desktop computers. Mobile commerce sales grew 29% to $153 billion in 2017 from the prior year, making up one-third of online retail revenue, Forrester found in a separate study. The researcher forecast that the U.S. will add 53 million smartphone shoppers in the next five years to make up 82% of online shoppers buying through a mobile device. The significance of e-commerce to mobile advertising is a key opportunity for Amazon and Snapchat to grow their ad revenues.
Google and Facebook, which are frequently called the "duopoly" because of their dominance in the digital ad market, will only strengthen their hold on the market with nearly unsurpassed ability to target personalized ads to massive global audiences. Google, which has a near-monopoly on mobile search, targets ads based on consumer browsing history and how people research products and services. Facebook has highly personalized information about its users, controlling what they see on its platform. The social network's ability to engage highly customized audiences makes its ad targeting ability particularly strong.
The major threat to Google and Facebook's dominance is the loss of control of their massive platforms. Google's YouTube video-sharing service continues to be dogged by extremist content that could be damaging to major brands. Athletic apparel brand Under Armour this week paused its ad buy on YouTube after CNN notified the company its ads appeared on a white nationalist channel called "Wife With a Purpose." Ads from Adidas, Amazon, Cisco, Facebook, Hershey, Hilton, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Netflix and Nordstrom also appeared on channels promoting white supremacy, Nazis, conspiracy theories and propaganda. The latest evidence of posting ads in extremist content follows prior incidents that led to advertiser boycotts of the platform. Meanwhile, Facebook is coping with a data-sharing scandal that has tarnished its brand as consumers have become more distrustful of its service. It remains to be seen how many people will abandon the platform because of the scandal, but its ad sales show no sign of slowing in the next few years, according to eMarketer.