Mobile ad revenue to hit $3.3bn in 2011

Worldwide mobile advertising revenue is forecast to reach $3.3 billion in 2011, more than double the $1.6 billion generated in 2010, according to Gartner.

Worldwide revenue will reach $20.6 billion by 2015, but not all types of mobile advertising will generate the same opportunity. Search and maps will deliver the highest revenue, while video and audio ads will see the fastest growth through 2015.

“Mobile advertising is now recognised as an opportunity for brands, advertisers and publishers to engage consumers in a targeted and contextual manner, improving returns,” said Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner. “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.”

Added Andrew Frank, research vice president at Gartner: “As the adoption of smartphones and media tablets extends to more consumers, the audience for mobile advertising will increase and become easier to segment and target, driving the growth of mobile advertising spend for brands and advertisers. 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.”

North America and Western Europe are the regions where mobile advertising budgets will grow most, representing 28% and 25% of the global market by 2015. However, Asia-Pacific and Japan will remain the leading market throughout the forecast period. Asia-Pacific and Japan is forecast to account for 49.2% of mobile advertising in 2011, and 33.6% of the global market in 2015.

Gartner analysts said various types of mobile advertising will behave differently. “Mobile search, which includes paid positioning on maps and various forms of augmented reality, all of which can be informed by location, will spearhead mobile ad spending,” Baghdassarian commented. “Mobile display, which includes both standard Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) banner formats and nonstandard rich media and interactive formats, will continue to be closely divided between in-app and mobile web (in-browser) placements, reflecting consumer usage.”

For several years, mobile advertising has been scrutinised, and it is expected to take off, thanks to various players in the market, from communication service providers (CSPs) to ad networks.

Noted Frank: “In 2011, we are finally seeing some important drivers fall into place, so we can expect the market to more than double year on year in the coming two years. This doesn’t mean, by any stretch, that the experience delivered by mobile advertising will reach its optimum point in that time frame. We expect that targeting and contextualisation, especially in social sites and applications, will carry on improving throughout the forecast period and beyond.”