Global Mobile Ad Revenue Sees A Rise Of 83% In 2012, Reports IAB

Though, smartphone growth may be slowing down in some markets, the services that thrive on these devices continue to grow, raising even the growth of mobile advertising. The global mobile ad revenue for 2012 is calculated to be $8.9 billion, seeing a rise of nearly 83% on 2011′s revenues of $5.3 billion, according to the figures published by the IAB and IHS. The US is estimated to have brought in $3.5 billion in mobile ad revenues in 2012, though these are still small in comparison to the revenues coming in from Internet advertising.


The innovations in the field of mobile ads remain the biggest grosser of all ad formats, settling for over half of all revenues at 52.8%, or $4.7 billion, up slightly on last year’s percentage of 51.1%. It also suggests that Google, the leader in search and in smartphones as well, with its Android platform, remains the Numero Uno.

The author of the report, IHS’s Daniel Knapp, who also happens to be the director of advertising research at IHS says, “After Google, the other two important networks for the year were Millennial and Amobee. However, IHS is not releasing actual proportions for market share. Facebook only launched ads in Q2 but, if we take aggregated mobile ad revenue for the quarters where Facebook was active, the social network accounted for a 21.2% share in display revenues. Display ads accounted for 38.7% of all mobile ad revenues, or $3.4 billion, in 2012 while messaging continues its decline and now accounts for just 8.5%, or $756.5 million.

It should be noted that, before the advent of the mobile Internet and apps usage, message-based ads had been the most popular of formats; between 2011 and 2012 it grew the slowest in terms of actual revenues at 40.2%, compared to 87% and 89% for display and search respectively.


Mobile is coming into its own as a powerhouse advertising medium. 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.” expressed Anna Bager, Vice President and General Manager, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, US IAB, in a statement given to the reporters.

The IAB also points out that there is a growing trend for more consolidated investing on the part of media buyers, who seem to be buying for large ads across different networks and different platforms.

The rise of mobile ads revenue has its own theories. Apart from the growing smartphone penetration in markets like the US, UK and others in Europe, the rising toll of users, using them for a much wider range of purposes, are asking for ‘free’ content on these devices.

Geographically speaking, the biggest-growing markets continue to be those where mobile internet usage is the strongest : it was 111% in US and 91% in Western Europe. The biggest region for mobile ads in it’s entirety happens to be Asia Pacific, which consists of the biggest smartphone market in the world, China. Countries with lower mobile data usage and smartphone penetration are seeing comparatively smaller increases.

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