Mobile advertising inventory is outpacing the demand from U.S.-based mobile advertisers, according to mobile analytics company Flurry. Inventory oversupply is aggravating to online publishers and the problem is even more pronounced in mobile.
Mobile advertising inventory is growing fast due to smartphone growth, publisher growth (more apps), session use growth and apps increased screen space, which makes for more advertising potential.
There’s no doubt that mobile usage is on the rise. ComScore reports that about one third of all U.S. consumers are smartphone users - that number is approaching the inflection point of 50% market penetration, which signals that smartphones are becoming an integral part of the consumer experience.
Apps and their inventories have grown exponentially. But although users tend to download a good amount of apps, the average user only uses a handful of apps on a regular basis.
On Android, only the top 50 apps make up 61% of regular Android app usage.
Given the choice between a native app or a mobile website, Android users spend 67% percent of their time on native apps.
On the other hand, 40% of iPad-based news consumers get their fix primarily through the browser as opposed to the 21% who primarily get it through news apps.
Although the mobile audience has arrived, advertisers are not there yet. The explosion of inventory is driving down prices and forcing publishers to rely on ad networks. Advertisers will likely catch up once the mobile industry solves the issues that concern them like uncertain metrics and rudimentary targeting.