Mobile Advertising: Economics, Evolution and Policy

57 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2016

See all articles by David S. Evans

David S. Evans

Global Economics Group; University College London

Date Written: June 1, 2016


Consumers have shifted their consumption of online content dramatically from websites that they browse from a personal computer to apps that they use on mobile devices. Marketers have moved with the eyeballs, particularly since people use their smartphones much of the day and carry them wherever they go. These changes have disrupted the online advertising industry. This paper provides a primer on the mobile advertising business, particularly on how the economic structure of the online advertising industry has changed as a result of the move to mobile, and explores some of the issues that policymakers will need to consider as the digital economy moves from websites browsed from fixed devices to apps used on mobile devices.

Keywords: mobile, advertising, platforms, privacy, app stores, Android, iPhone, mobile apps, asymmetric regulation, online markets, web economy, app economy, network effects

JEL Classification: K21, L41, L52, L96, L86, L11, O12, O31, O14, M31, M37, M38

Suggested Citation

Evans, David S., Mobile Advertising: Economics, Evolution and Policy (June 1, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

David S. Evans (Contact Author)

Global Economics Group ( email )

111 Devonshire St.
Suite 900
Boston, MA 02108
United States

University College London ( email )

Gower St
London WC1E OEG, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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