Growth of Location-Based Mobile Video Ads was the Top Mobile Ad Trend in 2016  

Feb 16, 2017

If there is one trend which defined mobile advertising in 2016 it is the growth of location-based mobile video ads, which jumped from around 5% mid-year to 17% of all mobile video ads run in Q4 2016 according to Positive Mobile’s mobile video SSP.

This trend is supported by research from BIA/Kelsey, an advisory firm focused on the local advertising and marketing marketplace, which just published research predicting that spending on local video targeting local audiences will grow by $5 billion from $32.6 billion in 2016 to $37.6 billion by 2021.

Other interesting annual trends seen in Positive Mobile’s quarterly mobile video ad category data reports include:

  • Political ads: peaked in Q4 driven by a lot of location-targeted congressional campaign ads. Surprisingly, this category decreased from Q1 to Q2 as the presidential candidates using mobile video dropped out of the race.
  • Travel ads: peaked in Q2 and Q4 leading up to winter and summer holiday vacations
  • CPG ads: grew from Q1 and peaked in Q3 and dropped back to Q1 levels in Q4
  • Home Improvement (in the Retail category): peaked in Q2 (spring time) as home owners used the warming weather to upgrade their homes

Notable trends in Q4 2016 include the rise of Telecommunications. By comparing data from Q4 2015, when Technology was the #2 ad category with 18%, it became apparent that in Q4 2016, Technology marketers chose to sponsor ads for mobile phone service providers featuring their phones. This accounted for Telecommunications jumping to 10.7% after not exceeding 5.3% all year (while Technology was 2.5% versus 18% in Q4 2015). Other strong categories in Q4 2016 include Politics, Consumer Electronics in Retail (also benefitting from the drop in Technology from Q4 2015) and Toys (not surprisingly).