Global mobile ad revenues ‘nearly doubled in a year’


Global mobile advertising revenue reached $19.3bn in 2013, nearly doubling from the year before, according to new data from IAB Europe.

The study indicates that Latin America showed the highest year-on-year growth, soaring 215%, with major increases coming from North America, up 122% and Europe up 90%.

The figures, from IAB Europe, the U.S. IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence and IHS Technology revealed mobile advertising revenue soared a massive 92% to €14.6bn ($19.3bn) in 2013 from €7.6bn ($10.1bn) in 2012, confirming the adoption of mobile as an essential element of the marketer's toolkit.

Mobile display shows the highest growth at 123.4% and mobile search, up 92.1%, flourishes mainly driven by smartphone penetration as affordable data plans fuel location-based search-on-the-go. Messaging, itself up 19.4%, might not be sharing as much robust growth due to migration from operator-owned messaging services (e.g. SMS and MMS) to alternative platforms. Successful messaging innovation, particularly in Asia, reinforces the commonly held industry belief that mobile players need to be ahead of the curve.

2013 revenue gains over 2012 (€m)


Search remains the dominant segment representing 48.9% of the total global mobile advertising revenue in 2013 at €7.1bn ($9.5bn), while display approaches parity with a 41.5% share at €6bn ($8bn), and messaging takes a 9.6% share at €1.4bn ($1.9bn).

The share by region of the global figure of €14.6m ($19.3m) for 2013 is:

• North America: 41.9% (€6,099m / $8,100m)
• Asia-Pacific: 38.9% (€5,666m / $7,525m)
• Europe: 17.3% (€2,519m / $3,346m)
• Middle East & Africa: 1.2% (€170m / $225m)
• Latin America: 0.7% (€109m / $144m)

2013: Global mobile advertising revenue: share by region


Growth year-over-year was strong across the board, led by Latin America, which saw a massive 215% leap over the 2012 figures. North America and Europe also saw major increases:

• Latin America – 215%
• North America – 122%
• Europe – 90%
• Asia-Pacific – 69%
• Middle-East and Africa – 45%

“The Global Mobile Advertising revenue study emphasises the importance and adoption of the mobile platform, both in Europe and globally," said Townsend Feehan, CEO, IAB Europe. “Businesses of all sizes are now able to engage their customers via mobile and demonstrating a clear opportunity for publishers to take advantage of. However many publishers still need to hone their mobile advertising strategies and acquire mobile skillsets as growth has been largely driven through in-app and native advertising whilst the delivery of a qualified audience at scale with demonstrable campaign impact is still a work-in-progress in some markets.”

“These powerhouse numbers directly reflect mobile's rapidly increasing role as a vital part of the marketing media mix,” said Anna Bager, Vice President and General Manager, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB. “In particular, as mobile ad campaigns become easier to plan, create, buy, and measure – in great part due to programmatic strategies – these operational efficiencies are spurring the growth of the mobile display ad market. And, this impressive rise in mobile advertising is unquestionably a worldwide phenomenon, with strong year-over-year upticks being seen in every corner of the globe.”

“This year's global mobile revenue sizing reveals that growth is driven by a diverse array of developments in the mobile advertising ecosystem,” said Daniel Knapp, Director Advertising Research, IHS, and author of the report. “Improvements in marketing technology have enhanced targeting and measurement of mobile advertising, while consolidation among market participants simplifies the process of reaching large audiences. The most technologically advanced markets, and those that have concentrated mobile advertising spend on fewer players, have grown above average in 2013. Rising smartphone penetration is extending the addressable market and is inducing a shift from messaging to display-based formats, although messaging remains strong in emerging markets. More fundamentally, the pervasiveness of mobile consumption has sparked a change in the mindset of marketers. Increasingly, they come to realise mobile as a medium in its own right that rewards abandoning engrained desktop-based marketing principles with new creative, tactical and strategic opportunities.”

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