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Weekly Mobile Breakdown: The Tablet Advertising Boom

Tina Products/Markets Analyst
October 24, 2012

Increasing competition in the tablet space has made tablets affordable for consumers worldwide. Compact enough to carry around and yet large enough to comfortably browse the web, tablets are becoming the main Internet browsing device for many consumers worldwide. As a matter of fact, eMarketer predicts that at the end of 2012, tablets will penetrate 22.0% of the U.S. population (69.6 million users)—an increase of 106.5% compared to 2011.

Data from eMarketer’s latest report, “Tablet Advertising: Volume and Engagement Levels Jump Up,” show that advertisers may see higher consumer engagement rates through tablet ads than mobile and online desktop ads. Tablet ads have shown to be more effective than mobile ads across five of six criteria (see chart below). eMarketer attributes the success of tablet ads partly to the novelty of tablets as a media channel, meaning that over time the profile of the average tablet user will resemble that of the average Internet user.

Nevertheless, we are in the middle of a tablet advertising boom, as noted by the launch of the industry’s first tablet-only mobile ad network last week.  Now would be a good time for publishers to tablet-optimize their sites, and for advertisers to innovate their tablet ad campaigns to take advantage of the tablet’s large screen and touchscreen interface. Marketers need to incorporate tablets into their advertising strategies while the boom is still yielding high returns.




Based on the charts above, below are some key highlights and takeaways I think are important for mobile marketers & advertisers to consider.


  • Tablet adoption spiked sometime around 2010-2011 and will flatten out some time past 2015
  • By 2015, tablets will penetrate 41.0% of the U.S. population
  • Tablet campaigns are more than twice as effective than mobile when it comes to generating purchase intent
  • Mobile ads outperform tablet ads when it comes to message association


  • Tablets aren’t following the typical technology adoption S-curve—adoption spiked upfront and will slowly flatten out
  • The newness of the tablet as a media channel makes tablet advertising highly lucrative
  • Tablet advertising point will reach a point in which the space becomes saturated with advertisers and the novelty has worn off



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