Mobile will capture a slight majority of US online ad spending in 2017, according to a new forecast from eMarketer. Total spending on mobile advertising will soar from roughly $8.5 billion this year to more than $31.1 billion in 2017, while overall online ad spending will grow from $42.3 billion to $61.4 billion during the same period. By 2017, eMarketer expects that about 60% of search ad spending will be devoted to mobile devices. That’s up from a projected 21.2% share this year, and just one-tenth of that percentage (2.1%) in 2010.
Mobile is also forecast to account for a larger share of display dollars, though not quite to the same extent as search. By 2017, 48.4% of online display advertising (including banners, video, rich media, and ads such as Facebook’s Sponsored Stories and Twitter’s Promoted Tweets) will be on mobile devices (including tablets), up from an estimated 21.7% this year.
Interestingly, while search revenues ($17.3 billion) outpaced display revenues ($14.8 billion) last year, eMarketer sees display growing to overtake search as the largest online advertising format in 2015. By 2017, advertisers will spend a forecast $30 billion on display ads compared to $25.6 billion on search. The researcher’s projections differ from recent figures from the IAB and PwC, which found search revenues growing at a faster rate than display revenues last year. eMarketer’s estimates are based in part on IAB and PwC figures, but also take into account analyses of reported revenues from major ad-selling companies as well as consumer internet usage trends and interviews with executives at related industry companies.
Overall, digital will account for 31.1% of total media ad spending in 2017, per the researchers, up from an estimated 24.7% this year. Mobile, then, will capture 15.8% share of all media ad spending, a huge increase from just 2.6% last year.