Mobile advertising market doubling in growth

20th Jun 2011

The global mobile advertising market will more than double in value annually for the next two years, increasing from 0.5% of total ad spend last year to more than 4% by 2015, according to Gartner.

This year, the sector is expected to double in revenue terms from $1.6 billion in 2010 to $3.3 billion, hitting $20.6 billion by 2015. The biggest revenue driver will be search, which includes paid positioning on maps, although sales of video and audio adverts will experience the fastest growth of any category.

Stephanie Baghdassarian, a research director at Gartner, said that brands, advertisers and publishers now recognised mobile advertising as an opportunity to engage consumers in a targeted and contextual manner in order to improve returns.

"For that reason, mobile advertising budgets are set to increase tremendously across the various categories and regions, growing from 0.5% of the total advertising budget in 2010 to over 4% in 2015," she added.

Although Japan and Asia-Pacific are expected to account for 49.2% of all expenditure in the sector over the coming year, the figure is expected to drop to 33.6% by 2015. North America and Western Europe, as the fastest growing regions in investment terms, will start catching up and are forecast to account for 28% and 25% of the total market respectively in four years time.

But Gartner research vice president Andrew Frank said that 2011 was the year that some "important drivers" would finally fall into place, although this did not mean "by any stretch, that the experience delivered by mobile advertising will reach its optimum point in that time frame".

Indeed, he expected that targeting and contexualisation functionality, particularly in relation to social media sites and applications, would continue to improve throughout the forecast period and beyond.

But the growing adoption of smartphones and tablet computers meant that audiences would become easier to segment and target, which would undoubtedly encourage higher rates of advertising expenditure over the next couple of years.

As a result, Frank said: "Brand marketers who want to include mobile in their advertising initiatives should not delay their trials and should have their budgets in place now to take advantage of mass consumer adoption of smartphones and media tablets."

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