Your iPhone is About to Have a Lot More Ads

It goes without saying that there has been a massive move to mobile, smart digital devices ever since Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007 with adequate Internet access. Accordingly, advertising goes where the eyeballs are and is about to follow.

Mobile Advertising

Several articles struck a chord with me recently. The first was from Business Insider. It pointed out results from Statista that show an overwhelming preference by smartphone users, men and women, for apps instead of websites. "It Turns Out People Don't Really Surf The Web On Their Smartphones."

Image Credit: Business Insider

This tells the website advertiser that if the HTTP user agent reveals itself to be mobile, advertising may not be a good bet. And that fits in with the limited real estate on a typical smartphone for both extensive content and ads.

On the other hand, the graph above suggests that the place to be is on mobile apps. We're all familiar with this via the myriad of apps that are free, but supported by advertising.

Not only do mobile users prefer apps, but they're spending more time with their smartphones than even with TV, according to a Millward Brown study released this week. See: " Study Confirms Smartphones Now #1 Screen, Beating TV."

So the combination of preference for apps and more eyeball time on smartphones suggests that advertisers will flock to our iPhones and their apps. By how much?

This companion article provides the numbers: " Digital Ad Spend Quickly Shifting To Mobile: Are You Ready?" From 2012 to 2014, mobile ad spending is expected to rise from about US$4 billion to $15 billion. And by 2017 to over $35 billion.

One question to ask is whether there's a future conflict for the developer, given how much the advertiser may offer compared to how little the customer expects to pay if they wish to delete the ads. With the rise in ad spending, will developers eventually have a disincentive to offer the customer an opportunity to suppress ads for a (small) fee?

How well this serious upswing in ads is accepted by mobile customers remains to be seen. It would be good for the ad industry to create a next generation of ads so well targeted and designed, people won't be desperate to suppress them -- that is if they're even given the opportunity.


Smartphone and megaphone via Shutterstock.