Of the $125.6bn spent on mobile ads in WARC’s key markets in 2018, almost four in five dollars have entered in the last five years. Mobile ad investment has grown at a compound annual rate (CAGR) of 48.6% since 2014, compared to 3.9% for all media. While mobile growth has eased over the period, it remained rapid at 27.6% in 2018.

Just under half (48.9%) of the total was assigned to paid search last year, with the majority of this $61.4bn going to Google. The world’s largest media owner accounted for 94.1% of all mobile search queries worldwide in 2018, and derives 65% of its ad clicks from mobile and tablet users, according to data from Merkle.

Mobile display formats such as video, branded content and banner ads, drew 46.4% of all mobile adspend across key markets in 2018 – $58.4bn. Spend has grown at a CAGR of 51.2%.

Much of the display growth is being fuelled by the boom in programmatic trade. Almost two-thirds (62.6%) of all digital display adspend was traded by machines in 2018, or $71.5bn, according to Zenith data. This is up from a share of 37.3% in 2014, and has trebled since 2013. Paid search and social media are programmatic by design.

This Data Point was drawn from January's Global Ad Trends report, which focuses on investment and consumption trends within mobile advertising, in addition to ad performance, measurability and data privacy concerns.