Comparing Responses to In-App and Mobile Web Ads - eMarketer

Newsletters Sign-Up

Plans & Pricing

Does My Company Subscribe?

Comparing Responses to In-App and Mobile Web Ads

Global study finds little difference in consumer impact

June 19, 2017

A global study of smartphone usage found scant differences in consumer response to advertising on the mobile web vs. in-app ads.

The May 2017 Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) study found 47% of smartphone users worldwide took some sort of action after seeing an ad in a mobile app, while slightly fewer users (45%) who saw an ad on the mobile web took action. In North America, the figures were identical for in-app and mobile web advertising: 43%.

In general, mobile ads clearly made an impression on users. The study found that 90% of smartphone users recalled mobile web ads within the first few days after they were originally shown. For in-app ads, the recollection rate was 86%.

Beyond simply remembering the ad or the brand, some users interacted with the ads they saw.

For mobile web ads, about one in 10 (11%) said they clicked on the ad. And 8% said they visited the brand’s website after seeing the ad.

For in-app ads, the numbers were similar, with 13% saying they clicked and 9% visiting the brand’s website after seeing an ad.

Consumers spend the vast majority of their mobile time with apps. According to eMarketer’s latest estimates, in-app activities will make up 89.2% of US adult smartphone users’ time spent accessing the internet via smartphone this year.

Share of Average Time Spent per Day on Mobile Internet Among US Smartphone and Tablet Users, In-App vs. Mobile Web, 2017 (% of total)

In 2017, US adult smartphone users are expected spend an average of 2 hours 9 minutes each day with smartphone apps, compared with just 16 minutes using the mobile web.

Monica Melton

New Report in eMarketer PRO This Week

The Internet of Things for Smart Cities

Using data collected from sensors, infrastructure and networked devices, smart-city projects are helping municipalities improve efficiency, boost sustainability and encourage economic development. They are also creating more collaborative environments among cities and their businesses and residents. Preview Report

Not a PRO subscriber? Find out how to become one.


  • Go beyond the articles:

    eMarketer Products

    You've never experienced research like this.

  • Hear from our clients:

    Customer Stories

    Nearly all Fortune 500 companies rely on us.

  • Want to learn more?

    Contact Us

    Inquire about corporate subscriptions today.