Time Spent In Mobile Far Outpaces Ad Spending

by Mark Walsh, Yesterday, 9:42 PM

Web publishers have long lamented the lack of ad spending online in relation to the amount of time spent online. Now Flurry is making the same case for mobile. In a new study, the mobile advertising and analytics firm says mobile is the most imbalanced medium when it comes to ad spending versus time spent, at 1% compared to 23%. That makes the split of ad spending and time spent on the desktop Web — at 16% versus 22% — look a lot better.

By contrast, print gets 29% of ad dollars but only 6% of time spent. Flurry derived the cross-media figures from publicly available sources including comScore, Veronis Suhler, Mary Meeker, Alexa and its own data tracking more than 140,000 iOS and Android apps.

So why is mobile getting short-changed in ad budgets?

“We believe the main reason for this disparity is that the mobile app platform has emerged so rapidly over such a short period of time. With the iOS and Android app economy only three-and-half years old, Madison Avenue and brands have yet to adjust to an unprecedented adoption of apps by consumers,” stated a blog post Monday by Peter Farago, VP, marketing at Flurry.

Prior research by the firm found that iOS and Android smart devices have seen twice the growth rate as that of Internet adoption and four times that of PC adoption. Farago also notes that mobile advertising lacks sophisticated platform tools, standard metrics and an established standard for ad-serving, tracking and settlement that make ad buying easier in other media.

If mobile follows the same pattern as the desktop Web, that disparity between ad dollars spent and time spent should shrink over time as the audience grows and the metrics and practices around mobile advertising become standardized. But since mobile is inherently more fragmented than the Web, and offers an even smaller screen to advertisers, there may always bee a sizeable gap between spending and time spent.

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