IAB: Mobile Platforms Driving Digital Ad Growth, Despite Desktop Slowdown

The Interactive Advertising Bureau’s latest Internet Advertising Revenue Report found that desktop revenues fell sharply—something more than made up for by the fact that mobile revenues surged during the first half of 2016.

The digital advertising space is increasingly going mobile—and phones are driving much of the sector’s growth.

That’s per the latest edition of the Internet Advertising Revenue Report [PDF]—published by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)—which states that during the first half of 2016, mobile offerings made up nearly half of the digital ad sector’s $32.7 billion in revenue, with 47 percent of the pie driven by formats such as mobile search ads and mobile banner ads.

Compared to the first half of 2015, mobile revenues nearly doubled in the first half of 2016—from $8.2 billion to $15.5 billion. Meanwhile, traditional desktop strongholds such as search, display ads, and classifieds all saw steep declines—in the case of classifieds, that segment saw a decline of 29 percent year over year, from $1.5 billion to $1.1 billion.

But the plus side is that increases in mobile ads more than made up for the decreases, driving a 19.1 percent increase in revenues year over year.

“Applying historical seasonal data, the first six months of 2016’s revenues, $32.7 billion are on an expected annual run-rate to make 2016 the highest year in revenues, and on pace to exceed the previous highest annual total of $59.6 billion reported in 2015,” the report states.

In a press release, David Silverman of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the firm that helped IAB create the report, noted that the numbers emphasize a massive surge in the importance of mobile.

“These numbers demonstrate the growing importance of mobile, showing us the increasing demand for digital video and search, available anytime, anywhere, in the palm of your hand,” Silverman said in a statement.

Historic data on IAB’s yearly reports, which have been produced each year since 1996, can be found on the bureau’s website.

Update: A relevant point to this discussion from Digital Content Next CEO Jason Kint: One concerning aspect of this growth—not necessarily touched upon by the IAB report—is that Google and Facebook take up a significant share of the digital ad numbers, and removing those two companies from the equation shows a decrease in the market through the first two quarters of 2016. Kint wrote a blog post on this topic in June.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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