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Comparing Responses to In-App and Mobile Web Ads

Global study finds little difference in consumer impact

June 19, 2017 | Mobile

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

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