Coronavirus Shifts Consumer Behavior Towards Mobile

May 29, 2020
By: Marissa Camilli

As a bellwether of the wider economy, you could do a lot worse than look at the advertising industry. When things are going well, the money flies in. When things aren’t so good, purse strings definitely tighten. The ongoing, global COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on advertising with a steep decline in ad spend seen across almost all sectors. The one channel that remains buoyant in these turbulent times is mobile.

A recent report published by the online advertising software company PubMatic highlights how mobile has remained strong when compared against other advertising markets.

Digital media now owns 55.3% of the ad market, with mobile casting a huge shadow over everything else. Mobile accounts for 31.7% of ad spend compared with just 14.7% going towards desktop/laptop devices.

Note: If you still consider the traditional advertising landscape of print and broadcast media as the pinnacle of the advertising industry, think again. TV and radio now account for less than 40% of the advertising market. Meanwhile, newspapers and magazines barely have any skin in the game with a 1.2% and 1% respective share of spend.

Mobile Usage Soars  

Mobile’s usage has soared by 10% during the pandemic with the average user spending upwards of 4 hours and 18 minutes on their device every day. This increase is largely due to a surge in app usage with gaming, food delivery, and video streaming apps.

This isn’t to say that mobile hasn’t seen a negative impact on what is a universally tough market. In the first quarter of 2020, mobile ad spend declined by some 15%. In normal times this would be worrying but in these far-from-normal times, highlights mobile’s strength when compared with comparative ad markets like desktop advertising which has seen its revenues drop by 25%.

Remember: This decline in ad spend is no reflection on the quality of mobile advertising platforms. Numerous business verticals, including vast swaths of the travel, sport, entertainment, and leisure industries shuttering their operations and therefore no longer in the business of advertising.

Light at the End of the Tunnel 

As countries begin to emerge from the crisis, ad spend will rise but media owners shouldn’t expect a return to business as usual. The new normal will see a redistribution of ad revenues with mobile dramatically increasing its lead.

This trend is already being seen in the APAC region where mobile ad spend and impressions are actually higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Why is Mobile So Resilient?

It’s a question of efficiency. Advertisers know that when they spend money on mobile advertising they stand a far better chance of reaching the right person at the right time than any other medium. They also know that mobile gives their target audience all the tools they need to engage with that all-important call-to-action whether that is “buy now”, “call now”, or “download now”.

Digital Turbine’s mobile advertising solutions, including SingleTap™ installs and pre-loaded (native) apps take this level of efficiency one step further by reducing the lag time between initial engagement and active use, while also protecting advertisers from fraudulent activity.

To help your business become more resilient in the advertising market’s new normal, contact us today and ask to speak with one of our mobile advertising experts.

Marissa Camilli
By Marissa Camilli
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