This is Mobile Advertising’s Kryptonite | SNAFU

Slowly, it’s been eating away at mobile advertising’s performance: speed (or lack thereof). Engineers and mobile data wonks have known about it, but now Madison Avenue is talking about it.

It’s Mobile Speed.

Contrary to popular belief…it’s getting slower. In major cities like Dallas, Boston, and Miami: 50% slower.


  1. Smartphone users are consuming 4x more data than we did four years ago (source: CTIA)
  2. T-Mobile and others now offer “all the data you can do,” congesting networks further
  3. Publishers get higher CPMs for video, consequently merchandising it to maximize revenue
  4. Manufacturers now have to balance battery optimization/conservation in context of all three above

These four reasons are all connected.

The Fallout?

Mobile advertising’s in trouble (from a measurement and attribution perspective).

61% of all mobile display clicks are accidental already, but when mobile speed gets slower…the mobile ad views and clicks take longer to register per standard third party research protocol.

And when speed affects the very standard of research protocol, measurement gets affected: thus mobile advertising may be getting lower credit (unfairly because of the industry-wide phenomenon).

But no one can quantify whether it’s mobile speed or truly bad performance (even with cross-device attribution) because the proverbial suitcase never steps on the scale.

It’s now the dirty secret nobody’s talking about.

As the Spin Doctors sang:

“I got a pocket full of kryptonite…I can’t believe my dilemma is real.”

It’s real…and heads are beginning to spin.