Mobile Video Consumption and Advertising Spend

Mobile video consumption has more than doubled in the past year. With video now generating 42% of daily traffic volume on any given mobile network, the opportunity for advertisers is an attractive one.


Faster mobile networks in more parts of the world, more bandwidth, an increase in smart devices and larger screen sizes have meant that the popularity of video has exploded. But that’s not the only reason - for many of us, watching videos has become a normal habit. Fueled by social media, user-generated content and the tendency for omniscreening - we have come to demand videos as part of our consumption-heavy lifestyles. Below are some of the key stats. 

mobile advertising stATS

  • Mobile video traffic will make up 69% of the world’s internet traffic by 2018. (Cisco)

  • Mobile now accounts for over 25% of all online video viewing and is on track to reach 50% by 2016. (Ooyala)

  • Mobile page views have increased by 81% since last year. (KPCB)

  • Strong growth in mobile usage in general - 30% from 2009 to 2013 globally. 

  • Usage of tablets has grown more than 52% faster than PCs ever did. 

  • 75% of consumers use smartphones to watch online video and 87% use tablets. (IDG)

A large part of this craze is amateur videos uploaded from people’s mobile phones of entertaining moments and funny pets. We love this stuff. But there’s also an appreciation for the more professionally produced videos by media companies, which are getting better and better every year thanks to improving production technology and the competition to be creative.


So we know that video as a format is a hit and the consumption rates are on the up, but are advertisers cashing in on this?

  • Mobile video ad spend has increased by 196% to £63.9 million in the UK in 2014. It is now the fastest growing digital ad source. (IAB)

  • This year, mobile accounts for 20% of digital ad spend in the UK. 

Mobile advertising spend UK IAB

  • Mobile video ads accounted for 19% of all US digital video ad spending in 2013. (eMarketer)

  • This figure is expected to climb to 26% of all digital video ad spending by the end of 2014. 

  • It’s estimated that $1.5 billion will be spent on mobile video ads by the end of 2014 in the U.S. 

  • That’s a staggering 108% rise from last year when $722 million was spent on mobile video advertising. 

  • This year all mobile advertising spend is expected to grow by 75.1% to $31.45 billion worldwide. (adknowledge)

  • This makes up nearly one quarter of total digital ad spend worldwide. 

  • By 2015, this figure will rise to $45.85 billion - that’s a 45.8% increase. 

The graph below taken from a recent eMarketer report breaks down digital video ad spending by mobile and desktop from 2013-2018. We can see that desktop spend is levelling out slightly, whereas mobile spend is growing by at least 100% year on year

US Digital Video advertising spend



Despite the growth in mobile internet consumption, advertisers have been hesitant - and they should be. Mobile phones are personal to consumers, they are integrated within their daily lives and are regarded differently to desktop computers where ‘banner blindness’ has forced advertisers to rethink their strategy. So obstructing consumers with annoying advertising in their pocket simply won’t work.

Improved targeting, a better understanding of consumers and advancements in technology are changing this. Advertisers are realizing the potential and are starting to throw their money at it. The next question of course is, is this investment paying off and how are we measuring that? Well that’s another blog post, so stay informed by signing up to our newsletter where we round up Coull content and industry news in a monthly email.