2016 Mobile Advertising Predictions: More Players, Standards, Targeting and Interaction

As we embark on the first week of 2016, we also reflect back on the past year of innovation, drive, sweat and tears that brought mobile advertising to what it is today. From surpassing $4BN in mobile ad spend, to new tools and technologies, it’s been a busy but productive year. Most importantly, mobile has made it to the ad budgets of the world’s largest agencies and brands for 2016. No longer an experiment, mobile is now considered a smart investment.

Where will we go from here? What new advances will shape the months to come and the future of the mobile advertising industry? Here are my predictions for 2016. And since you’ve all been so good this year, I’ve added a few thoughts on the tablet-specific market as well.

Mobile Advertising:

  • iPhone and Android take note; a third or fourth horse will emerge in the device/OS race. Will RIM make a comeback? Or will it be Microsoft with its new Windows phones? Even Amazon, and Facebook have a chance.
  • Targeting will take center stage. Advertisers will better understand consumer need for relevancy on the mobile level and take advantage of ad networks with 3rd party data partnerships. This deeper level of targeting will become a critical aspect in successful campaigns.
  • Make way for m-commerce. Mobile banking and buying initiatives have already sparked interest in the retail and CPG markets. Google Wallet, and new vendors, apps and hardware will appear in 2016, making it easier for mobile users to buy from their phones. Having already seen the ROI in m-commerce, many companies will increase their spending toward the effort in 2016.
  • From the IAB to the MMA, associations are working hard to create standards and drive adoption within our rapidly evolving industry. New ad units will begin to be more focused on standards and less on new features. The majority of the industry will adopt standards by mid-late 2016, making it easier for media planners and buyers to allocate and execute mobile campaigns.
  • Thought the mobile ad industry was already big? Ha- time to get out a bigger scale. PC ad networks, hardware and social players will enter the race in droves. More publishers will increase their mobile content as consumers use mobile as a primary access point for the Internet.
  • Interaction and connectivity are the names of the game in 2016. Smartphones will interact more with TVs (ex: Apple TV, Xbox 360, Google TV, etc.), tablets, and a myriad of other devices. We’ll see more convergence of Android and iOS, as the smartphone becomes the primary touch point for the computer, television and other connected devices. The long awaited concept of the connected home will start to finally take shape; though not driven by TV as expected, but by the smartphone.


  • Tablets will continue to eclipse the PC. As a content consumption device, the tablet already performs many of the functions of a PC, and consumers won’t want to buy both.
  • More players will enter the tablet space and lower price points will become a stronger tactic.
  • Apple will diversify its tablet portfolio with a smaller and less expensive iPad.
  • The Kindle Fire will take over the number three spot on the tablet list.
  • Google will make its own tablet, similar to what they did with the Nexus smartphone line.

Let me know what you think in the comments below. Here’s to a successful 2016!