Mobile ads generating billions in revenue

People are spending more time on their mobile devices, and that means companies are willing to spend more on mobile advertising.

Research firm eMarketer estimates that spending on mobile advertising, which includes both smartphones and tablets, will soar by 83 percent to nearly $18 billion in 2014. Newspapers will draw nearly $17 billion, while radio will bring in $15.5 billion.

But according to the Wall Street Journal, there aren't enough mobile ads to keep up with the amount of viewers. It is estimated that American adults spend almost a quarter of their media time on mobile devices, but this year's spending growth will raise mobile's share of the ad market to only 9.8 percent.

Some older forms of media are still making money, even with this wave of mobile advertising. Radio, for example, still makes on-air commercials work. Research from Nielsen Catalina Solutions found that every dollar of advertising spent on radio averaged a sales return of $6 from listeners in the 28 days after they heard the spot.

The challenge for advertisers is to try and figure out how they allocate their ad spending across platforms. They now have a lot of options.

Television still has a much bigger reach than mobile. According to the Journal, television draws about 40 percent of adult media time and the same proportion of the ad market.


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