Wearable Tech World Feature Article
April 14, 2015

If You Build Smartwatches, Advertisers Will Come

The relationship between advertisers and smartwatches within the next few years can be aptly summed up with the subtle tweaking of a famous movie quote: “If you build it, they will come.”

In this case, the “it” is smartwatches and the “they” is advertisers. While no one knows exactly how intelligent timepieces will affect the face advertising, a new study from Juniper Research (“Digital Advertising: Online, Mobile & Wearables 2014-2019”) reveals that there will be no shortage of companies pumping money into smartwatch ad campaigns. 

In fact, the study reveals that by 2019, the amount spent on advertising for smartwatches will increase from the current amount of $1.5 million to a staggering $68.6 billion—that’s roughly a 45-fold increase, or the equivalent of about 4,500 percent, in four years.

The study suggests that this massive growth will result from big names such as Apple delving into the smartwatch race—which now includes Google and Intel, among others. Most of the ad-spend will be for ad hoc campaigns, as advertisers still have a lot of implementation  methods to explore before creating a model that works on tiny smartwatch screens

In addition to small displays, Juniper Research cites user behavior as a factor that could skew advertising models that previously worked on smartphones and tablets—which we may soon be referring to as “traditional” mobile devices. As the screen shrinks, so too does the amount of time ads have to leave an impression on the audience; with smartwatches being made for glancing, we now enter the realm of seconds.

Despite the inherent challenges to advertising in the face of smartwatches, massive gains will be had for companies that are able to implement viable advertising models. Based on Juniper Research’s findings, we can already conclude that advertisers are up to the challenge.

Now it’s time to find out who has what it takes to “Go the distance.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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