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Mobile Ad Spending to Top $100 Billion Worldwide in 2016

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The worldwide mobile advertising market will hit two significant milestones in 2016, according to new figures from eMarketer, surpassing $100 billion and accounting for more than 50% of all digital ads for the first time.

The $101.37 billion to be spent on ads served to mobile phones and tablets worldwide next year represents a more than 400% increase from 2013. Between 2016 and 2019, the last year in our forecast, mobile ads will nearly double again, totaling $195.55 billion. That figure will account for 70.1% of all digital advertising as well as more than one-quarter of total media ad spending worldwide.

Not surprisingly, growth in mobile ad spending is being driven by consumer adoption of mobile devices. Next year, eMarketer estimates, there will be more than 2 billion smartphone users worldwide, more than one-quarter of whom will be in China alone.

In addition, the number of tablet users worldwide -- while growing more slowly than the global smartphone audience -- is expected to eclipse 1 billion in 2015. In many emerging and developing markets, consumers are often accessing the internet mobile-first and mobile-only, driving marketers to mobile advertising.

In the short term, the leading global markets will drive mobile ad spending -- particularly the US and China. In 2016, US advertisers will spend $40.2 billion on mobile ads, more than doubling the total from 2014, while advertisers in China will spend $22.1 billion to reach consumers on mobile devices, triple the amount they spent in 2014. Both of these countries will see mobile become a majority of all digital advertising next year.

Rounding out the top five countries, the UK, Japan and Germany also will see significant increases in mobile advertising next year, but in all three markets, a majority of digital ad spending won't come from mobile devices until 2017.

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Tags: mobile advertising