Could tech fatigue have an impact on mobile advertising?

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising. January 9, 2020

Tech fatigue has finally set in. According to a study that tracked over 2,400 Americans on their mobile device use over 14 months, 64% of them used their devices less.

One hour less, to be precise. First published in the New York Times, the research found that instead of five hours, consumers were now using their devices four hours per day over the course of the study tracking them.

It appears that users are getting sick of what constant mobile device usage is doing to their health and wellbeing.

But scaling down on mobile use could have effects on the mobile marketing industry, with advertisers beginning to worry.

“Less time spent with mobile devices means fewer chances to reach consumers on these devices, increasing the cost of mobile advertising in the near-term and forcing marketers to rethink where and how they spend advertising dollars in the long-term,” Renee Cassard, a chief audience officer at Hearts & Science, a media agency that commissioned the study, wrote.

An estimated $99 billion are spent each year on mobile device ads and predictions for the next few years remain positive with videos, banners and co. attracting some serious investment. For example, mobile rewarded video ad spending grew 245% in the first half of 2019.

But there are reports forecasting slowing growth of Internet ad spending until 2021 due to market maturation.

Brian Wieser, head of business intelligence at media company GroupM, isn’t worried though:

“It’s possible that if half of the population decided to no longer use an internet-connected device, you’d have an impact. But if an individual merely reduced their use, how many advertisers would be unable to accomplish their goals using that medium? Would it just be more expensive? Would they just have to use a different tactic?”