Forecast Shows Mobile Ad Spend in China Growing Significantly

New forecast numbers from eMarketer show mobile ad spend in China will increase significantly over the next five years. The analysis predicts by 2021 nearly 82 percent of digital ad spending will be dedicated to mobile.

According to the data, investment in mobile marketing in China is largely divided across three main players: Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent. Combined, these three companies accounted for almost 72 percent of all mobile ad spend in China this year.

In discussing overall digital ads, eMarketer reports just over $50 billion was spent, which represents a 27 percent increase over the previous year. The majority of paid media spend – 60 percent – was dedicated to digital ad efforts, the data shows.

Looking to the future, eMarketer analysts anticipate increased investment in video ad spending in China. Their data shows video ad spending will account for roughly 15.5 percent of total digital ad spend in 2017, but will grow by 35.8 percent (to about $7.8 billion) in this coming year. Mobile video is expected to be the investment of choice and account for about 72 percent of all video ad spend.

“Ad spending in China continues to shift rapidly toward digital formats, fueled by rising time spent online and greater advertiser spending on mobile formats, especially on video and social media,” said eMarketer forecasting analyst Cindy Liu. “We think this trend will persist in the coming years, especially as publishers continue to introduce new and innovative ad formats and improvements to data technology.”

Mobile Users in China Are Open to Targeted Ads

An iiMedia study from early 2017 highlighted the importance of targeted mobile ads in the China market. The data showed that nearly half of mobile users (45 percent) in China are willing to share or engage with mobile ads.

In addition, the vast majority (80 percent) of mobile users will browse ads they are interested in and 10 percent browse all ads no matter the content.

Ads based on personal interests were accepted by 50 percent of mobile users and an additional 40 percent indicated they were open to mobile ads based on their browsing or purchasing history.

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— Silvina El Baba, Senior Manager, Web Marketing, EFI

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