Is Mobile advertising now an indispensable channel in the UK?

Mobile advertising is at an all-time high and continuing to grow, but what is the real value of mobile to marketers?

Mobile advertising has taken some time to pick up traction. Perhaps longer than previously anticipated, especially when (as revealed in a  recent study by the U.N) there are more mobile phones in the world than there are toilets. However in 2013 it’s clear that mobile advertising is no longer a niche market, rather it is fast becoming the go to medium for advertisers.

Findings in a study by eMarketer conclude that mobile advertising spend has grown rapidly from 2011 to 2013 and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The eMarketer study predicted that mobile ad spend will continue to grow over the next few years before reaching £3.58 billion by 2017.

Mobile ad spend will continue to rise until 2017 study results

The growth in mobile ad spend is in line with the development of emerging technology solutions such as real time bidding (RTB) platforms, media rich ad formats, interactive videos and better targeting. Solutions such as these are giving media agencies and brands increased confidence that their target audience is receiving their mobile ads.

Despite mobile being behind online advertising in terms of spend, UK media agencies are confident that mobile can and should be a key factor of marketing campaigns. In fact, by 2017 mobile will account for 22.4% (nearly one quarter) of the UK’s total ad spend in 2017. eMarketer forecasts the spend figure to be nearly £3.6 billion in value. The rise in mobile spend is part of an overall growth in digital ad spend which is set to increase to 49.7% in the UK by the end of 2017.

The dominating segment of UK mobile ad spend is Search. This is forecast to remain as the leader until 2016. Other forms of advertising are increasing however with media rich formats such as banner ads and video growing rapidly.

Mobile video ad spend is increasing year on year
Image source, eMarketer


Mobile is an increasingly viable option for many brands and marketers. The development of technologies that allow more specific targeting means that adverts can be delivered to consumers in the appropriate context which will lead to improved ROI. There is significant room for improvement in terms of consistent tracking of data and metrics across all mobile devices but this is rapidly being tackled by Ad Spruce and advertising and technology company developing unique solutions to track and monetise mobile phone traffic for both smartphones and feature phones. We are now able to deliver pre roll and in stream video ads to any internet enabled mobile device, anywhere in the world with various solutions for tracking advertisments. You can find out more about this on our technology page.

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