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Tablets set to become biggest mobile ad platform

by David Needle

July 25 2012

Tablet users already download more apps than smartphone users. Chart: Yankee Group
Tablet users already download more apps than smartphone users. Chart: Yankee Group

A new report by Yankee Group breaks out the gains tablets are making on the road to becoming the most popular mobile platform for ads.

The Yankee Group report says mobile in general and tablets specifically are forcing a “paradigmatic shift in how leading players develop and make money.” 

Tablets are set to emerge as the primary platform for mobile ad revenue in the next two years, thanks to their larger screen and the more immersive media experience they provide versus smartphones. The Yankee Group forecasts tablets will account for 53% of mobile ad dollars in 2014 compared to 47% for mobile handsets. By 2016, tablets’ share of mobile ad sales will rise to 60%.

Yankee Group VP of Research and Data Sciences Carl Howe said there are clear reasons why tablets are set to gain a a majority share of mobile of ad revenue. 

“This happens in 2016 when we also predict tablet sales will exceed PCs,” Howe told TabTimes. “My view is it will be the computer everyone has and laptops will become more a device only used by professionals.” 

Howe makes the analogy that not everyone needs a truck; contractors and some other  professions do, but most people drive cars. “Tablets are becoming the car of the computer industry,” he said.

But he also said a lot of work is still needed to create mobile apps and ads that effectively appeal to consumer’s interests. “We haven’t really cracked the code yet when it comes to mobile advertising,” said Howe. “It’s still pennies on the dollar compared to desktop ad revenue.” 

He points to apps like Band of the Day, a music magazine app which, as the name implies, features a new band every day. 

“It’s beautifully designed and organized and has a high level of engagement that’s missing from other mobile apps,” said Howe. “And they’ve got some high touch advertisers like Burberry with full screen ads.” 

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