2014 was a massive year for mobile. Yet again, the technology of mobile devices became more advanced, we saw the introduction of the iPhone 6 plus a rise in more affordable, yet advanced, smartphones. More and more people became owners of smartphones and subsequently mobile advertising grew significantly.
This growth is expected to continually rise throughout 2015 and beyond. By 2017, there is expected to be over 5 billion mobile phone users worldwide, making near enough 70% of the world’s population mobile phone users! (eMarketer, 2014) It’s no secret that mobile is everywhere you look – it is ubiquitous. People are carrying around supercomputers in their pockets and their advancing technologies make them extremely powerful business tools. So what new trends can we expect for mobile in 2015? We have compiled a list of 5 trends to look out for in the coming year…
1. Emerging markets and the surge of smartphone use
The last couple of years have seen mobile trickle generously into emerging markets such as India, Africa, China and Indonesia. The smartphone market is predicted to grow a further 18% in emerging countries in 2015, led by India, China and Indonesia (GFK, September 2014). 2015 will also see the surge in affordable yet high-spec smartphones, which will contribute to the rise of mobile users and subsequently mobile internet users in such markets. These low-cost smartphones, developed by the likes of Samsung and Micromax, will continue to hold a larger market share in India than the likes of Apple, whose market share was just 2% in 2014 (Economic Times India, September 3rd 2014). India, in particular, can be said to be heading for a ‘mobile revolution’. Many people in India will discover the internet on their low-cost smartphones before owning a PC or laptop: mobile will therefore be their predominant screen. This will make the shift to mobile more pronounced and faster than what was seen when the western smartphone market was developing and will result in more people having access to the mobile internet globally. For example, India will expect to see 213 million mobile internet users by June 2015, an increase from 173 million just last month. This surge in mobile use will open up a greater opportunity for tech, mobile and advertising companies to reach a wider and more diverse audience in 2015.
2. Mobile web will rule
Last year we saw mobile internet usage finally overtaking desktop internet usage, showing us that the mobile web is on track to rule the internet industry (Search Engine Watch, 2014). The smartphone is the new PC, becoming one of the main devices used to access social media sites, play games, watch video and to do online shopping. In fact, online shopping is one indicator to show the shift from desktop internet usage to mobile internet usage. Mobile e-commerce is growing at a faster rate then desktop e-commerce and accounts for a significant 4% of all retail sales. As mobile becomes increasingly flexible, we will see it used more effectively in business. Until recently, mobile apps have been said to be the driving force for the rise in mobile internet usage and were considered to be people’s preferred method, with an apparent 88% of mobile internet usage coming from apps (IAB, 2014). However, this figure was mainly due to social media, which people access almost exclusively through apps. 2015 can expect the view of ‘app is best’ to shift, with businesses realising that the mobile web is actually the preferred channel and more convenient to consumers than app usage, with a recent survey being conducted stating that only 18% of people prefer using apps to the mobile web (IAB, December 2014). A survey conducted by eMarketer also showed that people are more likely to click on ads on the mobile web (35%) rather than in app (26%), indicating that the mobile web is a lucrative space for advertising. We can expect to see businesses go back to basics in 2015, ensuring that they give an all-round mobile experience which will include optimising their websites for mobile.
3. Mobile video advertising will continue to grow
The consumption of video has skyrocketed over the past few years. Ooyala (2014) found that mobile video plays are rising a massive 114% year on year, with mobile devices already making up a third of all online video plays. 75% of all smartphone users watch video content on their device and in 2015 the video trend will become even more popular, especially with the ever-increasing popularity of video streaming sites like Netflix. Ooyala predict that mobile video views will make up half of all video views in 2015, and with the rise in smartphone use in emerging markets, this is not hard to imagine. For example, in India, 40% of people state that they watch video on their mobile whilst in bed (Erricson, 2014). Understandably, this has opened up huge opportunities in the mobile advertising market, with mobile video advertising already creating huge revenue for the industry. Marketing Profs (2014) stated that 2015 is the year where mobile video advertising will take big steps forward. According to Business Insider (2014), over the next 3 years, revenue generated from mobile video ad deployment will generate more than $4.4 billion in the US alone. 2015 can except to see more sophisticated targeting and measurement of campaigns, allowing advertisers to target the same way they did on desktop with these advances creating more premium inventory. This could result in advertisers spending more on mobile video advertising than desktop in 2015!
4. Rise of proxy browsers
If you are constantly using the internet, then you probably have a favorite browser. Proxy browsers, such as Opera and Opera Mini, may not be your first choice and do not appear as popular as browsers such as Google Chrome. Proxy browsers use a proxy server to access a website promising the user anonymity and also use a lot less data than others. The Opera Mini Browser is set for a big year in 2015. Recent plans from Nokia reveal that under a new deal with Microsoft, they plan to offer the Opera Mini browser pre-installed on all Nokia low and mid level devices, creating near 100 million new devices with this as the default browser. Emerging markets, experiencing the growth of the smartphone market and better networks, will welcome this news as this browser will ensure fast browsing speeds coupled with low data charges. Opera has also announced Opera Max, a data-saving app, meaning that people will be able to stream video content with limited buffering. With more people using Opera Mini in 2015, this poses a problem for brands and advertisers as it makes it extremely difficult for them to serve rich media ad campaigns and track campaigns due to the anonymity of the browser. Adspruce have created their own proprietary technology which can deliver and target ads on proxy servers, allowing advertisers to manage the effectiveness of their campaigns.
5. Mobile payments
2015 will be the year that mobile payments will make their first attempts at becoming mainstream. Apple has already launched Apple Pay back when the iPhone 6 was released, which has shown signs of success. Mobile payment is simply using your phone instead of using cash or your bank card to complete transactions. This may seem like a novelty for the time being, but 2015 will welcome more companies such as Paypal, Google and Alibaba testing and introducing similar products. Despite taking a big leap forward this coming year, it may not be as simple as it seems for the mobile payment industry to fully take off. Habit is hard to break… how long will it take for consumers to break the tradition of reaching for their wallets and instead use their devices? However, it has still been predicted that by 2019 mobile payments will make up 15% of all US payments (Business Insider 2014), highlighting quite a pronounced shift in habit will come, it just may take some time to get there.
There you have it, our predictions for mobile in 2015. One key theme throughout is the growth of mobile in emerging markets, which will benefit the mobile advertising industry to a huge degree. Do you have any suggestions as to what 2015 has in store for mobile. Let us know through Facebook, Twitter and Google+. You can find out more about Adspruce by visiting our website.