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eMarketer estimates that 53.7% of the entire UK population will own and regularly use a smartphone in 2014. Tablet penetration won’t be too far behind, at 41.1% this year. And these mobile devices are fueling a rise in the total amount of time spent with digital media in the UK. But the majority of this nonvoice mobile time is likely being spent with apps rather than the mobile web.
In April 2014, Flurry reported that US mobile devices users were far more likely to spend time with mobile apps than browsers. January 2014 research conducted by Decision Fuel and On Device Research for InMobi indicated that the situation was likely the same in the UK. It found that mobile internet users in the UK had actively used an average of 7.5 mobile apps in the past 30 days; this was slightly more than the average for the US, which stood at 7.4.
Because UK mobile internet users spend so much time with apps, it comes as no surprise to learn that in-app ads are the most commonly seen. The research found that 56% of respondents had noticed these types of ads—more than any other ad type.
This hasn’t been lost on advertisers. In the programmatic space, in particular, there have been notable recent moves into the mobile, and specifically in-app, space. Performance display advertiser Criteo launched an in-app solution in January this year, while real-time ad tech provider Improve Digital launched its mobile in-app solution this month.
This type of activity puts into perspective recent figures from Juniper Research. In January 2014, it predicted that mobile in-app ad spending worldwide would explode from $3.5 billion in 2013 to $16.9 billion by 2018. In-app advertising, it seems, is very much in fashion.
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