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Mobile ad spending expected to jump 83% this year

Mobile ads will become one of the largest ad channels in the coming years, second only to television, according to a market researcher.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Mobile ad spending will grow faster than any other ad channel in the US this year -- up as much as 83 percent to reach $17.7 billion -- as more people spend more time on smartphones and tablets , according to eMarketer.

While advertising on mobile devices remains a small piece of total ad spending -- just 5.7 percent of the $171 billion spent last year -- its rapid growth should allow it to surpass ad spending on desktops and laptops by 2016 and reach 26 percent of total ad spending in 2018, the market researcher said Wednesday.

Comparatively, mobile ad spending was up 122 percent in 2013 to $9.7 billion, and up 178 percent in 2012 to $4.4 billion.

Mobile advertising will become the second-largest ad channel in 2018, behind only television, if eMarketer's predictions are accurate. Other channels, including radio, newspapers, magazines, and outdoor ads, are expected to lose ad spending share during that time. Total media advertising should reach about $221 billion in 2018, eMarketer said.

The big winners in this more mobile-focused future are Google and Facebook. Google already accounts for 10 percent of all advertising spending in the US, eMarketer said, and should see its market share increase in the coming years. Facebook, which has been making a big push into mobile in recent years, should also gains, though is expected to hold a much smaller share than Google.