Mobile now generates more than half of advertising revenue in the United States

by bold-lichterman

For the first time, mobile advertising revenue weighed more than half of total digital advertising revenue (51%) last year, according to the annual report of the IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau). In 2016, advertisers broke the record in terms of spending, to 72.5 billion dollars all segments combined, against 59.6 billion dollars in 2015. While advertising revenues are up 22% year on year on the other (against 20.4% between 2014 and 2015), those released on mobile have exploded to + 77%. They went from $ 20 billion in 2015 to $ 36.6 billion in 2016.

In detail, search represents the second source of revenue after mobile, at $ 35 billion last year, up 19%. Social media ad spending weighed $ 16.3 billion, or + 50%. Display accounted for 13.6 billion, or 19% of total spending. Finally, online videos brought in 9.1 billion, up 53% compared to 2015. For the first time, the IAB measured revenues from audio advertising (streaming, podcast on desktop and mobile), valued at $ 1.1 billion.


On the sector side, retail remained number 1 in terms of amounts spent by brands. It is still followed by the financial, automotive, telecom and media sectors. As every year, advertising revenue followed a seasonal rhythm, with an acceleration from the third quarter, reaching its highest at the end of the year (Q4), especially at Christmas time. This seasonality even tends to increase, especially on mobile with a 68% increase in spending in Q4 2016 compared to the same period in 2015.

Another striking trend is that only 10 companies, led by Google and Facebook, account for 73% of revenues in the last quarter of 2016. In this report, the IAB also studies the evolution of prices applied by the sector.

Read also: More than a third of advertising revenue came from mobile in 2015 in the United States