1 in 4 UK Smartphone Users Exposed to Mobile Advertising

Mobile and video advertising are gaining traction in reaching a sizeable percentage of the total audience of internet users, according to the latest analysis of the UK online advertising market from comScore, covering fixed-line internet users, online video viewers and smartphone users.

In June 2011, 63.1 per cent (or nearly two out of three online video viewers in the UK) were exposed to video ads. Among the total number of smartphone users in the same time period, 25.4 per cent recalled seeing an ad while browsing the internet or using an application on their devices. In comparison, 95.3 per cent of fixed-line internet users were exposed to online display advertising.

“Over the past few years, video and mobile have emerged as important channels for advertisers seeking to reach digital consumers,” says Mike Shaw, director of comScore Marketing Solutions. “While the penetration for video and mobile advertising has not yet reached the level that it has for online display advertising, it is likely that the penetration for these will only grow as mobile advertising continues to increase, and more advertisers incorporate video as an integral part of their marketing strategy.”

Over the past two quarters, mobile advertising has seen a steady increase in reach. 5.4m UK smartphone subscribers (25 per cent overall) recalled having seen ads through a mobile browser or app in the quarter ending June 2011, representing a 28 per cent increase from three months prior. In addition, nearly 8 per cent of smartphone users recalled seeing ads at least once a week (up 28 per cent), while 7.5 per cent recalled seeing them almost every day (up 52 per cent).

Of the 33.7m online video viewers in June, 21.2m (63.1 per cent) were exposed to advertising videos. While the total number of online video viewers remained constant from quarter-to-quarter, the number of unique viewers exposed to video ads rose 15 per cent. Meanwhile, the online display market continued to show a high rate of penetration in the UK, with 40m  unique visitors exposed to online display ads in June 2011, accounting for 95.3 per cent of the total UK online audience.

A demographic analysis of people exposed to online advertising revealed that 15- 24 year olds were the most heavily exposed to online ad videos. Nearly 70 per cent of 15-24 year olds were exposed to at least one online ad video in June 2011 – approximately 7 percentage points higher than the total internet audience. 15-24 year olds were also 10 per cent more likely than the average video viewer to be exposed to video ads, while 25-34 year olds have the second highest penetration and were 4 percent more likely than average to be exposed.

15-24 year olds exhibit an even more pronounced relative skew when it comes to exposure to mobile advertising. In June 2011, 31.6 per cent of UK smartphone users age 15-24 recalled having seen ads on an app or browser, the highest penetration among age groups. With an index of 125, 15-24 year olds were 25 per cent more likely than the average smartphone user to recall exposure to mobile advertising. Meanwhile, 45-54 year olds and those 55 and older showed a significantly lower likelihood than average of recalling mobile ad exposure.

“The penetration of mobile and online video advertising market shows greater variation across age groups, compared to the online display advertising market which already reaches an equally high percentage of users across all ages,” says Shaw. “This indicates an opportunity for advertisers looking for ways to efficiently target younger audiences, who are heavier online video viewers and mobile users. These audiences are likely to carry these behaviours with them as they mature, underscoring the future potential for video and mobile advertising.”