The Shift to Mobile: In App Ad Spend to Reach $201 Billion Worldwide by 2021

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Leslie Harris

September 19th, 2017

According to the latest Internet Advertising Revenue Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Interactive Advertising Bureau, digital ad revenue has grown to $72.5 billion in 2016, a 22% increase from the year prior. By 2021, in-app advertising is on track to triple in revenue to a total of $201 billion. According to the report, for the first time in history, mobile advertising accounted for over half of ad spend in 2016 coming in at around $36.6 billion, or 51% of the total.

In the beginning, many brands were skeptical about utilizing mobile ad tech as a means to reach customers but now they’re are starting to see how pivotal mobile can be for businesses. Advertisers are starting to shift their budgets to mobile instead of traditional platforms such as desktop, television, and print.



The average American spends at least 5 hours per day on their mobile devices (58% of that time is spent in mobile apps), making mobile one of the easiest ways to catch the attention of their target audience. Another benefit of mobile advertising is the innovation of ad formats that are available to advertisers. User experience and data are combined to create interesting and effective formats such as interstitials, video, native and playable ads. Advertising on mobile is also  highly targeted, making easy for brands to reach the right customers at the right time, increasing the opportunity for further interaction.

Overall, consumers are spending more and more time with digital media, making it the premier choice for brands and apps that want to reach the right audience. With the opportunity to create highly relevant ads in a number of creative formats, advertisers are in a unique position to capitalize on this new generation of consumers that prefer mobile.

“IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report Conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC)” iab, 22 Aug 2017,

“Consumers now spend 5 hours per day on mobile devices” 22 Aug 2017,

Leslie Harris

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