People Actually Do Want THIS KIND of Mobile Ad

John Koetsier

Everyone hates mobile advertising, right? Well, actually, not really.

In fact, people seem to kind of want relevant, timely mobile advertising. We’ve seen that emerge from recent TUNE research in two different ways: what people will pay to remove ads, and what privacy settings people enable on their smartphones.

See more in this week’s Mobile Minute:

We recently surveyed almost 4,000 smartphone owners on ads, privacy, and payment, and it’s clear that almost three quarters of us are not willing to pay even $1/year to avoid mobile ads. Only 9% would spend $1/week or more.

pay to avoid mobile ads

But we also studied data on over 1.3 billion app installs by about 150 million people over the course of seven months. And we checked the “limit ad tracking” setting found on both iOS and Android phones, which limits the amount of data that marketers can gather and use to provide more relevant and timely mobile advertising.

Turn this setting on, and you have more privacy but worse, poorly targeted ads. Keep it off, and you gain a little bit of privacy — not much, even with it on you would be added into large groups of users and not targeted individually — but mothers could see ads for fathers, teens could see ads for retirement planning, and so on.

Interestingly, usage of limit ad tracking is dropping globally. It’s low on iOS, and has dropped 36% over the past seven months on Android:

limit ad tracking mobile privacy iOS vs Android

What does that tell us?

People talk about how much they dislike mobile advertising. But they don’t care enough about it to put any money into making them go away. And they are not changing settings on their phone to make those ads less relevant.

In other words, if we could achieve the marketer’s dream of the right message to the right person at the right time, we’d also make mobile better for everyone.

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John Koetsier

Before acting as a mobile economist for TUNE, John built the VB Insight research team at VentureBeat and managed teams creating software for partners like Intel and Disney. In addition, he led technical teams, built social sites and mobile apps, and consulted on mobile, social, and IoT. In 2014, he was named to Folio's top 100 of the media industry's "most innovative entrepreneurs and market shaker-uppers." John lives in British Columbia, Canada with his family, where he coaches baseball and hockey, though not at the same time.

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