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Mobile data consumption will soon surpass fixed broadband

U.S. smartphone data use will surpass fixed broadband use for the first time next year, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers' latest Media and Entertainment outlook. By 2021, mobile data consumption is expected to eat up nearly 38% of all digital data consumption in the U.S., while fixed broadband will take up 27%, roughly 4 percentage points less than it does today.

Data: PriceWaterhouseCoopers; Chart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Why it matters: As consumers spend more and more time on mobile, it's no surprise that mobile advertising will keep gobbling up the majority of digital spend. The consumption trend is also pushing media and entertainment companies to consider partnerships and mergers with wireless services in order to get programming in front of consumers where they spend most of their time — mobile devices. And the continued explosion in demand for mobile broadband is driving the development of new wireless technologies, such as 5G.

Mobile advertising continues to explode: By 2021, mobile is expected to account for 74.4% of all U.S. internet advertising, per PwC. That's a huge increase from even two years ago, when mobile accounted for just 34.7% of all digital advertising. Last year was the first year mobile advertising officially surpassed desktop for digital spending.

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