Global mobile ad revenues rise 83%: North America catching Asia Pacific


Asia Pacific remains the highest earning region for mobile ad revenues, but North America is catching fast, boosted by a rise in smartphone search ads, according to a new report.


The study, conducted by IAB US and IHS indicate that global figures for mobile advertising revenue leaped a massive 82.8 percent to $8.9 billion (€6.9 billion) in 2012 from $5.3 billion (€3.8 billion) in 2011.

With growth rates of 88.8 percent in search, 87.3 percent in display and 40.2 percent in messaging at a global level, ad spend in these formats reflects bullish growth in the sector.

Mobile advertising revenue continues to be dominated by the search segment, which represented 52.8 percent of total global mobile advertising revenue, or $4.7 USD (€3.6 billion EURO) in 2012, $2.5 billion in 2011(€1.9 billion). Display advertising accounted for 38.7 percent and messaging 8.5 percent.

The share by region of the global figure of $8.9 billion (€6.9 billion) for 2012 is:

• Asia-Pacific: 40.2% ($3,558 million/€2,769 million)
• North America: 39.8% ($3,525 million/€2,743 million)
• Western Europe: 16.9% ($1,499 million/€1,167 million)
• Central Europe: 1.3% ($112 million/€87 million)
• Middle East & Africa: 1.2% ($109 million/€85 million)
• Latin America: 0.6% ($50 million/€39 million)

Growth year-on-year was strong across the board, led by North America, which saw a 111% surge over 2011 figures. Western Europe also saw a major increase, 91% over the previous year.

Other year-on-year rises include:

• Latin America: 71%
• Central Europe: 69%
• Middle-East and Africa: 68%
• Asia-Pacific: 60%

"Mobile is coming into its own as a powerhouse advertising medium," says Anna Bager, Vice President and General Manager, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, U.S. IAB. "Today's advertising is happening in a world where ad campaigns can be planned and bought across global networks on multiple media, but the massive and continuing acceleration of mobile's international impact provides new and exciting frontiers for content and communication."

“This study is extremely relevant to advertisers as it assists companies to make investment decisions and accurately access market opportunities as we experience a monumental shift across communication platforms,” explains Kimon Zorbas, CEO, IAB Europe, adding, “In Europe we are still experiencing significant economic turmoil and unemployment. Despite this reality, our sector is a positive beacon for recovery and growth. The message to European policy makers is they should take into careful consideration the promising opportunities our sector offers and focus on removing barriers to growth.”

“From a creative and communication standpoint, mobile advertising is hyper-personal. But more so than other media, from a business perspective, it is global. Mobile advertising is being planned, bought and sold across national borders and regions. This makes a global market sizing initiative ever more urgent,” says Daniel Knapp, Director Advertising Research at IHS, and author of the research.

Key factors for the impressive increase in mobile advertising revenue are rising smartphone adoption/ 3G and 4G penetration, more time spent on mobile devices, better advertising monetisation through targeting ad inventory consolidation. “We have seen a shift from a very fragmented landscape to one that is becoming more networked,“ explains Knapp. “Technological innovation has simplified buying mobile inventory at scale, enabling advertisers to better reach larger audiences across multiple publishers and advertising networks,” he continues.

Some key charts from the report, illustrating growth by region and format (search, display, SMS) are republished below:








View the full report here


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