Up, Up, and Away: Move to Mobile Hits New Highs

Up, Up, and Away Move to Mobile Hits New HighsRemember that old song by the Fifth Dimension: “Up, Up, and Away?”

Well, it would be a good theme song for what’s happening now. The consumer shift to mobile reached new heights in May — in a literally “up, up, and away” kind of way.

According to comScore, a global digital analytics company, time spent on mobile apps in the U.S. accounted for the majority of time spent (51 percent) in digital media up from 43% a year ago. And get this: Smartphones and tablets reached 60 percent, up from 50 percent a year ago.

Based on analysis of 10 billion minutes of total engagement in May, the survey indicated that some categories— like digital radio and photos—have moved almost entirely to mobile. It’s no shocker, considering that services like Pandora, Instagram, and Flickr are all experiencing 96 percent of time logged by users spent in the mobile space (mainly through their apps).

Other categories with 90 percent or more engagement in mobile include maps and instant messaging. Games came in at 86 percent, with digital music at 72 percent.

Social networking? That came in at 71 percent of time spent. In fact, social media ranks as the top category in terms of overall digital engagement, accounting for 20 percent of total time spent.

“When considering the category’s contribution to total digital ad spending, its (social media) rapid shift to mobile marks an important sign of the times for the Internet economy,” stated the report by Andrew Lipsman, vice president, marketing and insights at comScore.

Facebook is a recipient of the largesse. The company derived 59 percent of its ad revenue in the first quarter from mobile, up from almost nothing a couple of years ago. The Facebook app alone makes up almost a quarter (24 percent) of mobile time spent, with its app alone driving 18 percent of engagement.

U.S. mobile advertising last year tripled to $7.1 billion, or about 17 percent of the $42.8 billion in overall online ad spending, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. PricewaterhouseCoopers, in its latest entertainment and media outlook study, projects that figure to grow at a 22 percent compound annual rate to $19.2 billion in 2018.