Majority of US ad spend last year came from mobile, says IAB/PwC report

Mobile made up the majority of digital ad spend in the US for the first time in 2016, according the IAB and PwCs annual report.

Spend on mobile was up 77 per cent year-on-year, hitting $36.6bn (£28.4bn) in 2016. Thats 51 per cent of the total $72.5bn spent on digital ads overall – itself a record amount, up 22 per cent.

That growth was driven entirely by mobile, however, which increased spend by $16bn. This rise offset declines on desktop, primarily in search, down $2.7bn to $17.8bn. Meanwhile, desktop display remained relatively static at $13.8bn, down $91m from the previous year. 

The report was more encouraging when it came to video and social media ads. Social brought in $16.3bn across desktop and mobile, a year-on-year increase of 50 per cent year-on-year.

Video was up 53 per cent to $9.1bn, with nearly half of that – $4.2bn – coming from mobile, which more than doubled in size from 2015.

For the first time, the report also measured digital audio, accounting for revenues of $1.1bn.

Retail was the single largest vertical for the year, making up 21.3 per cent of ad spend, followed by financial service (13.3 per cent) and automotive (12.5 per cent).

“Mobile fueled the internet economy in 2016, with advertisers showing their confidence in digital to achieve their marketing goals,” said IAB president and CEO Randall Rothenberg. “This increasing commitment is a reflection of brands’ ongoing marketing shift from ‘mobile-first’ to ‘mobile-only’ in order to keep pace with today’s on-the-go consumers.”

And mobiles domination of digital ad spend is only growing . In Q4, the channel made up 53 per cent of revenues, up on its share for the year overall – suggesting well see it take an even bigger share in next years report.