Global consumer spending on media content, apps and services for mobile devices is expected to increase 13.4% from $121.8bn in 2011 to $138.2bn in 2012.
That’s according to the latest Global Mobile Media Forecast from Strategy Analytics which also predicted advertising spend will almost double from $6.3bn to $11.6bn. According to the research, this will result in the total mobile media economy reaching $149.8bn in revenue in 2012, a 17% increase from 2011.
In terms of consumer spend, data plans and web browsing took the highest share of $82.2bn but a key growth driver is the smartphone apps market, said the research. Over 32 billion apps were downloaded globally in 2012, a 38% increase from the previous year.
Apps are now the second largest category for revenue, for both consumer and advertising spend with Strategy Analytics predicting the technology to account for 18.9% of global consumer spend in 2012.
David MacQueen from Wireless Media Strategies said: “Advertisers chase eyeballs so the fact that brands spend more on in-app advertising than the mobile web is a clear sign that apps are what consumers are glued to for an increasing range of activities. In the eyes of many advertisers, web browsing on the smartphone is playing second fiddle to the app economy.”
Music remains one of the top mobile media spends, accounting for $16.0 billion in 2012, said the report. Alongside apps, mobile video usage is increasing dramatically with 280bn videos watched on mobile phones in 2012. However, video is likely to account for only 2.4% of total mobile media revenues in 2012, said the report.
MacQueen added: “Low revenues are down to many major mobile video services being free to the end user, either funded by advertising (such as YouTube) or ‘bundled’ without additional cost by pay TV providers, such as Sky Go around Europe or AT&T U-verse in the USA. Despite the huge audience of 271m users, ad revenues from mobile video are tiny - a meagre $223m globally in 2011. While ad revenues will more than triple to $726m in 2012, it is still clearly challenging for advertisers looking to reach consumers through video ads on smartphones.”