Australians noting increased quantity and intrusiveness of mobile ads, but not seeing a uptick in relevance

Australian mobile users think the number of ads appearing, and intruding, on their time on their devices is increasing, a survey of smartphone behaviour by the IAB has suggested.

The Global Perspective of Mobile Consumer Experience report surveyed 3,600 smartphone users across 18 countries and found 64% of Australians think the quantity of ads has increased on the mobile web (an increase of 52% on the year prior) and 46% of Australian users think the ads are becoming more intrusive (up by 31% from last year). 

When it comes to mobile apps, the figures are similar, with 59% noting the quantity of advertising had increased within apps (up 50% from the last survey) and 49% saying the ads were increasingly intrusive (up 37%).

The uptick in volume don’t necessarily correspond with increase relevanced or creative quality, according to the survey, with only 24% of Australian mobile web users saying ads were more relevant than this time last year, a decrease of 3% from the last survey. 49% of mobile web users in Australia felt the relevance of ads had remained the same over the past year, and 27% said they were becoming less relevant.

Again, the statistics for mobile app users were similar to those navigating via the mobile web, with 26% saying ads were more relevant this year (a positive increase of 5%), 53% contending relevance had remained the same, and 21% noting a decrease in relevance.

Creative quality of the ads has remained much the same over the past couple of years, according to the survey respondents. 19% of mobile web users in Australia and 12% of app users believe the creative quality of ads has decreased, however 52% on the mobile web and 57% on apps think it has remained the same. 29% of local mobile web users and 30% of those using apps think the creative quality has actually increased.

The survey also found over two thirds of Australian mobile users check their phone at least every 30 minutes, making Australians and the British the most attached to their devices.

While 63% of global users checked their smartphones at least every 30 minutes, the Australians and British beat the global average with 70% and 71% respectively, the report found.

27% of Brits and 22% of Australians reported checking their phone every five minutes compared to a global average of 19%.

Consumer preferences between using apps and mobile web site on their smartphones varied by the type of content they were viewing with 74% of social media users preferring to use an app while 55% accessing travel sites were happier accessing them through the mobile web.


At the end of the funnel, the IAB found consumers preferred using mobile websites for making purchases and bookings but users were more comfortable doing their banking and paying bills on apps.

The survey was carried out by the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, in conjunction with 17 IABs from around the globe with the survey carried out between April 21 and May 8, 2017. Copies of the report are available to IAB members.


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