48% of Canadians will use the Mobile Web 5 years from now

eMarketer recently published a report (June 6th) on the evolution of mobile in Canada. The report highlighted a few interesting pieces of data about the expected growth of the mobile web as well ad spend going to the mobile web during that same time period.

eMarketer projects an average annual growth of 11,6% in the number of mobile web users in Canada between 2013 and 2016. If I read between the lines that’s essentially 12% more smartphone owners or Internet connected tablet owner. Usage should grow from 48% of mobile users at the moment (2012, cell users that access the mobile web) to 64% in 2016. When you look at the numbers against the total population, we currently stand at 32% and should achieve 48% in 4 years (2016).

In order to add a little perspective to this reach, in 2011, 62% of all Canadians used Facebook on a monthly basis (not 62% of internet users, but really 62% of all Canadians aged 2+). So while the mobile web as a “media universe” is growing mighty rapidly, it will not have achieved in 2016 anywhere near the total reach that Facebook already had last year – and that’s only 1 website (ok the most important social network around, but still just 1 website). There is thus still a long ways to go, many year of rapid growth before the Mobile Web achieves the level of maturity (in annual growth) that the online web has known these past couple of years.

Where ad spend is concerned, the mobile web in Canada will represent total revenues of $137M in 2012, or only 0,9% of all ad spend in Canada (as projected by eMarketer and compared against each media’s estimated revenues for this year). Mobile ad spend (based on IAB Canada’s actuals for 2010 and some projections made by eMarketer) are estimated to be $770M Canadian in 2016.  That’ll then represent 4,6% of total ad spend in 2016.  Even if that’s not even a real 5%, will be more than what’s currently projected for Out Of Home (3,6%). OOH which achieved $507M in 2011 is expected to grow an average of 4,6% annually until 2016. The mobile web will also be larger than magazines in 2016 ($583M or 3,5% of total ad spend according to Borrell Associates).

In 2016, IF the current predictions hold, mobile advertising will occupy the 6th rank among the many media platforms advertisers have open to them, behind TV, online daily printed newspapers, radio and community weeklies.

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