An optimist might look at those numbers and think that mobile
video has a lot of upside. And that person would be right.
EMarketer expects mobile video ad spending to total $6.86 billion
by 2019 and account for 47% of total digital video ad spending that
But a pessimist might harp on two things. First, in five years
mobile video ad spending still will not have overtaken desktop
video ad spending. That's despite the fact that today's dominant
online video service YouTube already generates more video views on
mobile than on desktop. Second, the amount of people watching
videos on their smartphones, and the amount of money advertisers
are willing to spend to get in front of that audience, is
significantly disproportionate. That has been an issue with mobile
ads for years.
This year U.S. adults -- not the teens that are already
considered glued to their smartphone screens -- will watch 39
minutes of video daily, on average, on their smartphones and
tablets. That's the majority of the 76 minutes daily they're
expected to spend watching video across all digital devices, which
includes internet-connected TVs, desktop computers, tablets and
"As that audience continues to ramp up, by no means is ad
spending necessarily matching that demand. That's a big gap there
that we're going to have to figure out how to solve," said
eMarketer analyst Jeremy Kressmann.
So why are advertisers hesitating to move their digital video
budgets to mobile when audiences have already migrated?
"There's a disconnect right now between ad buyers of mobile
video and ad sellers," Mr. Kressmann said. "Ad sellers have the
particular standards that they put out there for mobile video -- of
which there are many [and] probably just as many metrics -- but ad
buyers really are thinking about video very much in a television
In particular, advertisers are accustomed to buying TV ads based
on gross ratings points (GRPs), which is a function of what share
of the intended audience saw an ad and how many times they saw it.
Nielsen and comScore have developed digital analogs to the GRP, but
many mobile video ad sellers split between selling ads based on
engagement metrics (like how many people click on the ad), and
impression-based metrics, (like completed views), Mr. Kressmann