Mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, accounted for 70% of global time spent using the internet in 2017, up from 65% in 2016, according to a new study “Mobile Advertising Forecasts 2017” released by marketing agency Zenith.
The report also projects that mobile devices will account for 73% of internet consumption in 2018. Zenith’s estimates are based on forecasts and estimates from sources in each market, such as comScore Inc. in the U.S.
Global estimates are for consumers in 52 countries that represent 65% of the world’s population including: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Ukraine, the U.K. and the United States.
The mobile internet is now the normal internet
In the U.S., mobile as a percent of daily internet consumption is even higher, as it reached 77.1% in 2017, up from 72.0% in 2016. Zenith projects mobile internet consumption will climb to 80.3% of daily internet time for U.S. consumers in 2018.
The report also finds that 53% of global internet ad spend will go to ads viewed on mobile devices in 2017, and that is expected to rise to 59% in 2018 and 62% in 2019.
“For most consumers and advertisers, the mobile internet is now the normal internet,” says Jonathan Barnard, Zenith’s head of forecasting and director of global intelligence.
In the U.S., Zenith estimates that 49% of internet ad spend will be for ads viewed on mobile device in 2017, and that it will increase to 61% by 2019. Of total ad spend in the U.S. (online and offline), 17.1% will be for ads delivered on mobile devices this year. This is much higher than the 13.3% that was delivered on mobile devices in the U.S. in 2016. In 2018, Zenith projects mobile to represents 21.9% of total ad spend.
Smartphone ownership will continue to grow, with 66% of global consumers owning one next year compared with 63% in 2017 and 58% in 2016.
Tablet ownership, however, is not growing as quickly as smartphones. Zenith estimates that global tablet penetration is at 18.7% this year, up from 17.8% in 2016. The agency projects penetration to reach 19.5% in 2018.
In the U.S., tablet penetration is higher, however, similar to the global pattern, its growth is slowing. U.S. tablet penetration was 51.4% in 2016, 52.7% in 2017 and is projected to grow to 53.7% in 2018.
With mobile device penetration growing, it makes sense that time spent in apps is increasing. Globally, total time spent in Android apps increased 40% year over year in Q3 2017, according to a new report from mobile app measurement firm App Annie. The company declines to report time spent in iOS apps.
App Annie also finds that app downloads grew more than 8% year over year, reaching 26 billion apps downloaded globally in the third quarter, based on data from iOS and Google Play app stores. That number counts only new app downloads and does not count reinstalls or app updates.
Google Play accumulated nearly 18 billion app downloads this quarter, which is about 125% more app downloads than the almost 8 billion iOS app downloads, according to the report. Google Play has more app downloads because of first-time smartphone owners in emerging markets, such as India, Indonesia and Vietnam, who have Android devices, according to App Annie.