Nearly one third of UK smartphone owners use the device as their primary source of news, with mobile advertising spend reaching a record high, a new study has shown.
Some 42 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds in the UK use their phone as their primary source of news, according to a Yougov survey quoted by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) UK and PwC Digital Adspend report.
Overall, the report (based on a survey of 2,011 people in July) found that smartphones were the primary source of news for 30 per cent of smartphone-owning Britons.
Advertisers now spend 36 per cent of digital advertising on smartphones, up from 4 per cent just five years ago, the report said.
UK mobile advertising budgets rose 56 per cent year on year to a record £1.7bn in the first six months of the year compared to the same period in 2015, according to the study.
Video advertising on mobiles was the fastest growing ad format in the first half of this year, with advertising spend rising by 129 per cent to £298 million.
Sponsored content and native advertising was also said to be growing fast (across all digital devices) and said to be up 29 per cent year on year in the first half to £451m.
IAB UK’s chief strategy officer Tim Elkington said: “People use their mobiles today more like a computer than a phone, being increasingly dependent on them as the hub for information, entertainment and communications.
“The wider range of activities and longer time people spend on them is why companies are raising mobile budgets.
“It’s also a more effective way for advertisers to deliver more relevant and immediate offers such as those related to certain locations or time of day.”
Social media is also a key driving force behind rising mobile budgets, the report said.
It claimed 93 per cent of smartphone owners check their phones soon after waking up and for one in five of these, checking social media is the first thing they do, rising to 29 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds.
Overall, advertisers spent an extra 64 per cent marketing their products and services on mobile social media websites and apps in the first half of this year.
This means 80 per cent of social media advertising is now allocated to mobile, with 20 per cent going to computer and tablet campaigns.