By 2016, Mobile Advertising Outlay Will Equal Current Total Online Ad Spending

23 Jun 2011

In 2010, not quite $2 billion was spent on mobile advertising. In 2012, according to the latest forecasts from ABI Research, that figure will be more than $7 billion. And by 2016, the forecasts suggest that about as much money – $24 billion – will be spent on mobile advertising as is currently spent on all online advertising put together.

“ABI Research’s forecasts clearly indicate a major boom in mobile advertising is on the way,” says practice director Neil Strother. “The pieces are falling into place: the technology; the behavior; and the funding (advertisers’ spending) is following. Today it’s still just a drop in the bucket by online standards – often just 2% or 3% of an organization’s overall advertising budget –  but spending on mobile ads is, in my view, ready to boom over the next few years.”

What has changed? Not so long ago, advertisers were saying “Yes, mobile is interesting, but really the pool of potential viewers and readers is still relatively small, especially for display ads, interactive ads, and ads using rich media.”

But today, two related developments have changed that. The first is the explosion in use of smartphones and other “smart” devices such as media tablets. The second is the proliferation of mobile applications that can include or drive mobile ads.

These applications can be related to a wide variety of activities including media content and games, but also services accessed through the mobile web browser. The result, says Strother, is that “The population of people who access content or media or services that are ad-supported is now big enough to create a critical mass.”

This story has concentrated on the higher end of mobile advertising; lower-tech forms such as text message-based advertising are still viable and useful, but publishing outlets can charge more for display, interactive or rich media ads, and they will provide the force to drive this market.

ABI Research’s “Mobile Advertising” study measures the rapidly growing market for mobile ads, and offers help to would-be advertisers in formulating their strategies. It explains current best practices and analyzes the key trends of the next five years.

It forms part of the Mobile Services Research Service.

ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 40+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit, or call +1.516.624.2500.

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