Mobile Trends 2020

10 Trends to Monitor As 5G Ramps Up and Privacy Battles Loom

Executive Summary

2020 will be a pivotal year for mobile as the first 5G networks gain traction in some countries, including the US and China. But that will be just one story, as privacy regulations tighten, transparency tools become more widespread, and mobile video and audio grow more important.

How will 5G affect the mobile landscape in 2020?

It’s still too early to determine 5G’s full impact, but sales in 5G phones will explode in the second half of the year. 2020 will be an opportune time for media companies, app developers and marketers to explore rich media experiences that take advantage of 5G’s fast speeds and low latency.

How will privacy regulations affect mobile marketers?

Marketers will need to be more judicious about how they collect and use data. Regulations and operating systems restrictions, particularly Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP), will cut back available data, and should raise prices for premium third-party data and location-based advertising, increase the use of contextual ads and put pressure on companies to utilize their first-party data.

What other developments will impact mobile?

Wearables will continue to evolve and gain users, but many will remain tethered to smartphones. Hearables (earphones with internet connectivity) and augmented reality (AR) will gain strength. Connected TV (CTV) will also grow quickly, which will influence the mobile strategies of over-the-top (OTT) video providers.

Will transparency improve in 2020?

Yes, and the IAB has come up with new transparency tools over the past year, with app-ads.txt the most important. The tool verifies the legitimacy sellers of an app publisher's inventory, but so far fewer than half of app publishers have appended the file. The pace should increase in 2020.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report will look at 10 key trends that will affect mobile marketing in 2020.

KEY STAT: 5G networks launched in 2019, but only a few million 5G smartphones have been shipped worldwide since then. That will begin to change in 2020.

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Ten Trends That Will Shape Mobile Marketing in 2020
  3. Trend No. 1: 5G will start to change media and marketing (but not for the reasons you think)
  4. Trend No. 2: Brands will wake up to opportunities in mobile gaming
  5. Trend No. 3: Interactive features will become much more prevalent in mobile video ads
  6. Trend No. 4: Location-based advertising will become more expensive
  1. Trend No. 5: Privacy concerns will drive innovation in contextual advertising
  2. Trend No. 6: More transparency will put pressure on mobile ad networks to adopt more industry-standard practices
  3. Trend No. 7: As CTV grows in importance, the battle among OTT providers for attention will spill over to phones
  4. Trend No. 8: The line between mobile web and app will continue to blur
  5. Trend No. 9: The battle among Big Tech will boost the wearables market
  6. Trend No. 10: Influx of contactless cards will help drive mobile payments landscape
  1. Recap of Last Year’s Predictions
  2. eMarketer Interviews
  3. Read Next
  4. Sources
  5. Media Gallery

Interviewed for This Report

Emily Anthony
Director, Media Services
Interviewed November 8, 2019
Matt Barash
Head of Strategy and Business Development
Interviewed November 19, 2019
Lucas Brechot
Senior Product Marketing Manager
Interviewed November 7, 2019
Kurt Donnell
Interviewed November 20, 2019
Pascal Ehrsam
Interviewed November 7, 2019
Matthew Fanelli
MNI Targeted Media
Senior Vice President, Digital
Interviewed November 15, 2019
Anne Frisbie
Vice President, Global Brand and Programmatic
Interviewed October 28, 2019
Harry Kargman
CEO and Founder
Interviewed November 8, 2019
Paulina Klimenko
Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and General Manager, Mobile
Interviewed November 11, 2019
Karim Rayes
Chief Product Officer
Interviewed November 20, 2019
Scott Swanson
Aki Technologies
CEO and Co-Founder
Interviewed November 7, 2019
Jenna Umbrianna
General Manager, Anagram
Interviewed November 19, 2019
Offer Yehudai
Interviewed November 6, 2019
Jason Smith
Location Science
Chief Business Officer, US
Interviewed November 7, 2019

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Yoram Wurmser


Paul Briggs
Senior Analyst
Mark Dolliver
Principal Analyst
Lauren Fisher
Principal Analyst
Chris Keating
Research Director
Jillian Ryan
Principal Analyst

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