South Korea Is World's Most Mobile-Oriented Digital Ad Market - eMarketer

Newsletters Sign-Up

Plans & Pricing

Does My Company Subscribe?

South Korea Is World's Most Mobile-Oriented Digital Ad Market

APAC nation edges US to become world leader in mobile internet ad spending as share of digital

October 16, 2014

Nearly two in five digital ad dollars spent by advertisers in South Korea this year will go toward mobile internet formats, including display and search, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast of paid media spending worldwide.

Mobile Internet Ad Spending Share of Total Digital Ad Spending, by Country, 2013-2018 (% of total)

That’s nearly double the share of digital ad spending South Korean advertisers devoted to mobile in 2013, when the country lagged both the US and Japan by this metric. But this year, South Korea has pulled into the lead, with an estimated 38.4% of all digital ad spending going toward impressions served to mobile phones and tablets (whether those media buys were specifically mobile-oriented or not).

The US is close behind—for now. Next year, South Korea is expected to widen the gap slightly, and will maintain leadership by this metric through the end of our forecast period. In 2018, we expect South Korea to be just ahead of second-place Germany in mobile internet ad spending as a percentage of the digital total, with Sweden and Norway tied for third place.

Mobile Internet Ad Spending Growth in Asia-Pacific, by Country, 2013-2018 (% change)

Even so, mobile ad spending in South Korea isn’t growing the fastest in the world—or the fastest of any Asia-Pacific country. China is winning by that metric, as well as by absolute spending levels.

eMarketer bases all of its forecasts on a multipronged approach that focuses on both worldwide and local trends in the economy, technology and population, along with company-, product-, country- and demographic-specific trends, and trends in specific consumer behaviors. We analyze quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of research firms, government agencies, media outlets and company reports, weighting each piece of information based on methodology and soundness.

In addition, every element of each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of each forecast means those assumptions and framework are constantly updated to reflect new market developments and other trends.

The definitive research source for marketing in a digital world

eMarketer benchmarks and forecasts are developed employing a research process unlike any other in the industry.

Watch this video that highlights how we put together data and insights.


  • 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.