The mobile internet is the internet

Heads in the cloud.
Heads in the cloud.
Image: EPA/Diego Azubel
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Think back to the mobile phone you had in 2010. It could access the internet, but it wasn’t such a great experience. On average, people only spent 20% of their time online on their phones back then, according to Zenith, a media agency.

Today, by contrast, we spend around 70% of our time on the internet on phones, based on estimates and forecasts for more than 50 countries covering two-thirds of the world’s population. By 2019, Zenith says this will rise to close to 80%.

What used to be called “mobile internet” is now just the internet.

With so much attention now focused on phones, you would think that advertisers would be scrambling to get their messages in front of people. Yet the amount spent on mobile internet advertising only overtook desktop ads for the first time this year—accounting for 53% of all spending—suggesting that the rapid shift has caught brands off-guard.