Mobile Landscape Update
Exciting changes continued to occur across the mobile landscape in 2014, so KSM honed in on four key areas that should matter most to marketers.
As of August 2014, smartphone penetration had reached 72 percent and it is expected that the U.S. will hit 75 percent penetration by year’s end. However, with strong maturation comes a deceleration in growth so a plateau will likely come very soon. In fact, by 2018, smartphone users will represent 81.6 percent of the U.S. population and this slow growth will be driven primarily by user gains among children and seniors.
Ubiquity has created fascinating developments in the mobile marketplace and as people become more reliant on mobile technology, habits will continue to evolve. As of April 2014, 47 percent of the average American’s time spent per day with media was with digital formats. Of that digital time spent, mobile is quickly surpassing desktop with almost three hours of time spent on mobile devices in 2014, up 23 percent from two hours and 19 minutes in 2013. Morgan Stanley, Yahoo and comScore all predict that mobile traffic will surpass desktop in 2014, and we’ve already seen this happening on major sites like Groupon and BuzzFeed.
Adding to the increase in mobile usage is the fact that a growing mobile-only audience is beginning to emerge. Nearly eight out of 10 people in the U.S. went online regularly in 2014, and of these 252.9 million internet users, nearly 10 percent went online only via mobile phone or tablet. This mobile-only audience is expected to grow in the coming years, rising to 13.6 percent of total U.S. internet population by 2018. Mobile-only users are likely to fall into the youngest and oldest age segments and tend to be minorities or individuals with limited incomes. In addition, as prices fall and technology becomes available to the masses, many consumers are opting to purchase tablets as their primary internet device, as opposed to much more expensive PCs.
Watching video on mobile phones and tablets remains one of the most popular activities performed on these devices in the U.S. According to KPCB’s 2014 Internet Trends report, mobile now accounts for 22 percent of overall digital video consumption. In response to this increased viewing activity, mobile video ad spending has risen 114 percent since last year, from $722 million in 2013 to an estimated $1.54 billion by the end of 2014. Interestingly, the uptick of mobile video viewing may actually contribute to a contraction in the growth rate of the overall online video ad market over the next four years. This is because...