With the rise of mobile media consumption, ad-dependent publishers need to remodel their monetization strategies to account for and adapt to the shifting tide in how users are accessing content on the web.
Just how prevalent is mobile media consumption becoming? A 2015 Pew Research Center study on US smartphone use found that “64 percent of American adults now own a smartphone of some kind.”
The study showed that smartphone use was higher in younger Americans and those with higher income and education levels. A more remarkable assertion made within the study was that “10 percent of Americans own a smartphone but do not have any other form of high-speed internet access at home beyond their phone’s data plan.”
According to a 2014 report by comScore, mobile apps account for approximately seven out of every eight minutes spent consuming media on mobile devices. The report asserted that we spend 60 percent of our digital media consumption time on mobile, with apps accounting for the lion’s share of that time.
Of the time we do spend on a mobile device, 12 percent of the time on phones and 18 percent of the time on tablets is spent browsing the mobile web.
Despite apps accounting for the bulk of the time we spend consuming digital media on mobile devices, in 2014, mobile searches reportedly made up 29 percent of all search queries. By May 2015, Google would announce that its mobile search queries officially eclipsed desktop search queries.
The shift toward a mobile web brings about new challenges for ad-supported publishers — be it AdSense, affiliate or traditional display advertising — and can affect publisher revenue in a variety of ways.