A Gartner research report released this month forecasts that worldwide mobile advertising revenue will reach $11.4 billion in 2013, up from $9.8 billion in 2012. And one of the fastest growing regions for mobile advertising is going to be North America, as mobile advertising spending closes the gap with the world-leading Asia/Pacific regions where Japan and South Korea sell the most mobile advertising. Gartner forecasts the global mobile advertising market to generate $24.56 billion in revenue by 2016.
In North America, the forecast is for mobile ad revenue to hit $8.9 billion by 2016, from an estimated $3.8 billion in 2013.
The proliferation of tablet computers, along with the millions of people who replace conventional cell phones with smartphones – and people often own both a smartphone and a tablet – means there are that many more devices on which an ad can be displayed, Gartner says.
"This market will therefore become easier to segment and target, driving the growth of mobile advertising spend for brands and advertisers,” says Andrew Frank, a research vice president at Gartner.
Mobile advertising can be a good thing or a bad thing for you as a consumer. The bad news is now your phone or tablet will be more cluttered with advertising as you are trying to use it for other reasons. That means at least some increase in battery drain and increased consumption of your voice and or data plan. If you have an unlimited plan, though, it makes no difference.
The good news, at least theoretically, is that your rates could stabilize if the carrier makes more money off of advertising. That may not play out, however, if carriers continue to have to build out their networks to handle more traffic at higher speeds, so don’t hold your breath.
As mobile technology evolves so do advertising platform opportunities, Gartner notes. Advertising related to mobile search has been around for a while; when you search for “hairdressers,” salon ads run alongside your search results. But search-related ads now also appear on maps, such that when you look for the location of your favored salon, you may see ads for other businesses nearby in case you want to get lunch after your appointment.
But Gartner says an emerging growth area is mobile display ads, which are ads that appear on the same page as content you want to see, such as a news article. Gartner also identifies in-app advertising as another new opportunity. The app you download from an app store could be free – or the price subsidized – because it’s advertising supported.
“[The market] will initially remain divided between in-app and mobile Web (in-browser) placements — reflecting consumer usage — although after several years of in-app dominance, Web display spending will take over in-app display from 2015,” Gartner predicts.
As more ad inventory opens up on these various platforms, ad rates should go down, which is good for the advertisers. However, as mobile advertising catches on, that could mean more clutter for users like you.