The advertising spend on smartwatches will reach $68.6 million by 2019, up from an estimated $1.5 million this year, according to a new report by Juniper Research.
The growth will be fuelled by the entrance of high profile brands such as Apple into the smartwatch arena, allied to increased consumer affinity with and acceptance of wearable technology. It argued that the emergence of an additional consumer screen would stimulate interest amongst advertisers, although until a critical user base is reached most ad-spend is likely to take the form of ad hoc campaigns.
However, the research notes that brands will need to devise and implement new advertising formats designed to cater for the limited real estate on a smartwatch screen.
Additionally, it observed that behavioural differences between smartphone and smartwatch usage are likely to provide a further challenge. With consumers viewing smartwatch screens for seconds rather than minutes, advertisers will have markedly less time to engage their audience.
Meanwhile, the report also suggests that programmatic (real-time bidding) advertising is one of the main drivers within the wider digital advertising sphere. Programmatic advertising has evolved over the last couple of years from low levels of implementation to becoming an integral cog in the system.
All types of advertising formats are now being traded between advertisers and publishers in the ad exchange markets, where it used to be a place where only the excess or remnant publisher inventory was sold.