Ad Dollars Follow Consumer Eyeballs To Smartphones, Tablets

Mobile advertising nearly tripled in first half of year — reaching $3 billion, according to a report released Wednesday. Advertisers have been trying to find ways to adapt to the mobile environment.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. You might already know this if you spend some time on the Internet, but revenue for online advertising is way up - reaching more than $20 billion in the first half of 2013. That's an almost 20 percent hike from the same period last year, according to a report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

As NPR's Laura Sydell reports, ads on mobile devices are growing the fastest.

LAURA SYDELL, BYLINE: As consumer eyeballs move from laptops to mobile phones and tablets. the ad dollars are following. Mobile revenues nearly tripled. Michael McGuire, an analyst with Gartner, says social networks, which draw a lot of mobile ad dollars, have been pushing hard to improve and market their mobile applications.

MICHAEL MCGUIRE: We've seen social networks - like Facebook - see the majority of their traffic come from mobile devices.

SYDELL: McGuire says advertisers are now trying to find ways to adapt to the mobile environment, which has some unique challenges like measuring ad views; it's easier for people to accidentally click an ad on a small screen.

MCGUIRE: But that's being overcome by better design.

SYDELL: And still mobile ad revenue remains a small part of the pie. It hit 3 billion in the first half of the year, only 15 percent of the total.

The full report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau also found an uptick in ad revenue for digital video, of 24 percent.

Laura Sydell, NPR News.

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