Mobile Audience Continues Growing, but Growth Clearly Slows in 2017

By Bob West

The shift to mobile is a topic that never leaves marketers’ minds. (At least, it shouldn’t!) We monitor the trend vigilantly at Meister Media to ensure we’re serving content to our audiences in the best way to help them consume it as easily as possible, which means serving them content for their device (or deviceS) of choice.

We review how much traffic to our websites occurs on a mobile device at least every three months, and we’re seeing an interesting change in the data through the first six months of 2017 – our audience’s shift toward mobile use is clearly slowing.

Below you will find the metrics detailing the percentage of sessions on our websites occurring on a mobile device (defined as a smartphone or a tablet) since 2011. After five consecutive years of fairly consistent shift to mobile traffic between 6% and 8% annually, that growth has dropped to just 2% through the first half of this year.

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Site % of Overall Traffic % of Overall Traffic % of Overall Traffic % of Overall Traffic % of Overall Traffic % of Overall Traffic % of Overall Traffic 5.5% 11.9% 18.9% 23.9% 31.6% 40.1% 44.6% 6.6% 13.7% 19.1% 24.5% 33.2% 43.9% 43.5% 2.3% 5.9% 14.3% 25.2% 34.7% 41.3% 45.0% 6.1% 16.4% 21.2% 28.6% 36.2% 41.5% 39.4% 6.8% 13.9% 21.3% 28.7% 33.6% 36.7% 38.8%
Cotton24/ 8.0% 16.6% 25.2% 37.6% 44.6% 52.3% 52.5% 2.8% 6.5% 13.4% 17.1% 21.8% 29.2% 29.7%
TOTALS 5.44% 12.13% 19.07% 25.4% 33.4% 41.3% 43.3%


Now, some notes on this data:

  • The number of visits occurring on a mobile device climbed for every one of our websites during the January to June 2017 period. But the percentage of visits via mobile devices to both and actually decreased from 2016 to 2017 as desktop session traffic grew faster.
  • Phones account for more of the mobile traffic than ever as we actually saw a decrease in the percentage of traffic to our websites via tablets in the first half of the year. (The total amount of sessions on tablets was flat for the first half of 2017.)
  • The Cotton Grower market remains our biggest users of mobile tools with more than 52% of all sessions on occurring on a mobile device.

Regardless of whether or not the shift toward mobile is slowing, the key point we want to stress to our clients is that having a mobile-optimized website is simply a must in today’s environment. The same people visiting our websites are the ones that you want visiting your websites, so you need to make sure your website provides the best-possible experience for each and every device used to visit it.

Bob West is Meister Media’s Commercial Digital Director. He can be reached at 440-602-9129 or