Mary Meeker’s presentation this week on mobile shone light on the mobile monetization problem and argued that “ad $ follow eyeballs, it just takes time.” However, she failed to address the reason for the mobile monetization issue and missed the clear implications for anyone looking to seize the opportunity.
Mobile is exploding. Over 100 million people in the US have smartphones, consumers are spending over 60 minutes a day consuming media on these devices, and people glance at their phone about 40 times a day. That is a massive and very active user base. You would think that advertisers would be rushing to take advantage of this untapped goldmine of an opportunity to reach consumers. However, as Meeker showed there is a huge discrepancy in the amount of time people spend on their phones and the number of advertising dollars allocated to mobile. The mis-equilibrium numbers vary, but estimates range between consumers spending 10% to 24% of their media time on mobile and advertisers putting only 0.5% to 1% of their budgets there.