Stephen Jenkins
Stephen Jenkins 3 November 2015
Categories Mobile

What's My Worth? Consumers' Ad Value Revealed

Do consumers get the value exchange they have with advertisers on mobile? And if so, what do they think their time and attention is worth?

Having discussed consumers’ Ad Attitudes, followed by a close look at mobile Ad Appeal

to consumers, in the final of our “What’s My Worth?” series of blog posts I want to take a look at the crux of our global study: Ad Value, and consumers’ self-perceived worth to advertisers on mobile.


At the beginning of this project we set out to evaluate consumer attitudes towards advertising on mobile devices. Specifically, we wanted to better understand how much they believe their time is worth.


It’s important to reiterate here that we are not talking about a figure that consumers believe they should be paid, but their perceived worth to advertisers for letting them into their most personal devices.


So on that note, do consumers get the value exchange they have with advertisers on mobile? And if so, what do they think their time and attention is really worth?


Consumers Expect Mobile Advertising, But In A Timely Fashion

We started off by asking whether consumers were happy to receive advertising in exchange for keeping mobile services free, or if they would prefer to pay for such services and avoid the ads.


From our 4,018 consumers polled across France, Germany, UK and the US, some three quarters (72%) said that they expect to receive some advertising in a one-hour time frame to keep content free. Only 3% of consumers said that they pay for content in order not to have ads, with the majority (84%) of those respondents aged 45 years old or above.


Exploring this theme further, we then asked consumers how much mobile advertising they are willing to receive on mobile devices in a one-hour time frame.


Although the mean expected time for advertising on mobile devices was 1.3 minutes in a one-hour time frame, it’s worth noting that there were a meaningful proportion of consumers willing to receive a much higher volume of advertising on mobile.


One in five (19%) of respondents on our global survey said that they would expect 1-3 minutes of ads in an hour, whilst just over one in 10 (12%) said 3-6 minutes. When it came to specific age groups, millennials were most receptive and most likely to expect more than a minute of advertising for every hour on their device, as evidenced by the chart below.



The lesson for advertisers is simple: mobile ads have to be highly effective in a concise time span to engage consumers and deliver results.


One Minute Of Time Is Worth Nearly $11

And now, we come to the heart of our research: consumers’ perceived worth to advertisers.


Providing global survey respondents with an open answer, but capped to a figure of £200 / €260 / $320 depending on their market currency, we asked consumers to estimate the value to marketers of five minutes of a mobile consumer’s time in a one-hour time frame.


The mean average response was £34 / €44 / $54 for five minutes of time across all respondents. For the purpose of the blog, I’m going to stick with dollars as the monetary value, but you can see all currencies across each market in the chart below.

 Varying significantly across markets, consumers’ self-perceived worth dropped to $43 in France, but came in at a high of $62 in the US. Our two remaining markets settled neatly in the middle of these ranges, with an average worth of $51 in Germany and $58 in the UK.


Breaking this number down further, this means that consumers feel for every minute of advertising they engage with on a mobile device, the value exchange with advertisers is equivalent to a monetary figure of $10.80.


Other Highlights On Ad Value




The theme of value has been at the core of this project. In trying to ascertain consumers’ value exchange with mobile ads we have looked at the wider picture beyond a final monetary figure. Indeed, the most important themes for marketers have been around mobile’s emerging dominance as a brand awareness tool and the most effective channel for driving specific actions and engagement with consumers.


With the wealth of insight revealed, just by talking to consumers about their mobile ad experiences, this is a  project we intend to return to again. I look forward to seeing how consumer responses evolve  as mobile advertising continues to be an ever more prevalent part of the digital mix and new and exciting ad experiences are developed. However, if you’d like to hear more in the meanwhile then be sure to check out my colleague Gavin Johnson’s presentation at the IAB UK’s Digital Britain Conference in Manchester on September 2. For those that can’t attend in person, the IAB will share a video following the event, while we’ll also share a write-up of that presentation here on


Final Word On “What’s My Worth?”

In conducting and sharing this research with the industry, Millennial Media’s aim (now part of AOL) has been to better help our partners understand their audiences, not just through the data and insight our platform delivers, but through direct consumer insight.


Above all, there are three takeaways for any brand marketer reading the report:


  1. Consumers understand and accept the value exchange of ads supporting free apps and content on their devices, and are willing to engage with the right experience.
  2. Mobile drives consumers to specific actions beyond the ad, and delivers twice the brand recall versus desktop.
  3. Their time, however, is incredibly precious, so brands must look to move beyond the banner to more engaging formats like video and rich media.

As ever, if you have any final questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us on Twitter with the hashtag #MMworth.


Related Articles: What’s My Worth? Ad Attitudes Explained / What’s My Worth? How Ads Appeal To Consumers


Original Article


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