eMarketer: Mobile Continues to Erode Desktop Ad Spending

Mobile continues to chip away at the once formidable dominance of desktop ad spending.

According to the latest data and corresponding projections from eMarketer, spending on desktop banners and search could peak in 2014.

The growth of mobile advertising is slowing spending directed toward desktop ad formats faster than expected… raising the question of whether spending on desktop formats like search and banners will ever grow again.

eMarketer’s latest estimates suggest that US digital ad spending will reach $41.9 billion this year (+14% over 2012). The same forecast, however, projects that desktop ad spending will top-out in 2014 at $35.39 billion.
“By 2015,” eMarketer’s report reads, “desktop spending will drop slightly to $35.26 billion, and decrease further in 2016 and 2017, when it’s expected to total $32.51 billion—just above the amount spent in 2012.”

A major reason for the shift toward mobile is simple: With more than half of US mobile users now on smartphones, and time spent with mobile devices increasing each year, many digital publishers are looking to shift ad revenues to mobile. Smartphones and tablet devices also account for a growing portion of US retail eCommerce sales, further contributing to advertisers’ desire to shift dollars away from desktop.

In 2011, for example, mobile comprised only 4.9% of all digital search ad spending. By 2017, mobile will account for a staggering 53.9%.