More than two-thirds of US digital ad dollars will go to mobile platforms in 2020—a first—but the coronavirus pandemic has dramatically shrunk growth. US mobile ad spending this year will increase just 4.8%, a dramatic dip from last year’s 23.0% growth and our estimated growth of 22.5% for 2021.
How has the coronavirus pandemic changed our forecast for US mobile ad spending?
In March, we expected mobile ad spending to increase by 20.7%, or $18.04 billion, in 2020, but we now forecast 4.8% growth of $4.22 billion. We expect mobile to account for 68.0% of digital ad spending, which is slightly lower than our pre-pandemic forecast of 68.3%.
What parts of mobile advertising have fared better than others?
As with digital advertising generally, performance channels have done better than branding channels. Ads on social media, gaming and streaming video apps have held up relatively well, but location-based advertising has suffered.
What are the uncertainties going forward?
The biggest unknowns are how widespread the pandemic will be in the fall and winter, and the severity of the ensuing economic damage. Early signs are that the prevailing consensus may be too optimistic.
WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report covers our revised forecast for US mobile ad spending in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.
KEY STAT: Although growth of US mobile ad spending in 2021 will return to pre-pandemic levels, this year’s lost growth will have a persistent effect on overall spending through at least 2024.
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