Mobile Ad Revenues to Hit $3.5bn This Year

Global mobile advertising revenues will hit $3.5bn (£2.2bn) in 2010, according to the latest research from Informa Telecoms & Media.

The mobile advertising market has seen strong growth over the past 12 months driven by the initiatives and investments of big players including Apple and Google and is expected to show strong growth over the next five years and generate revenues of around $24bn in 2015. Informa believes that during this period, the share of mobile advertising revenues going to network operators will fall from around 26 per cent in 2010 to around 20 per cent in 2015.

Informa notes that there are now an increasing number of successful mobile ad campaigns and plenty of market activity, including in-house innovation, partnerships, and mergers and acquisitions. Media and FMCG brands are also experiencing growing consumer engagement on mobile. These developments, says Informa, are starting to provide the much-needed momentum that the mobile advertising industry needs, which will lead to accelerated growth in mobile advertising in 2011 and beyond.

“The launch of Apple’s iAd advertising platform is forcing rivals to speed up their own mobile advertising strategies,” says Shailendra Pandey, senior analyst at Informa and author of the recent report. “Google has responded by acquiring AdMob and has announced it is on track to generate $1bn in revenues from mobile in 2010, a significant portion of which will be mobile advertising revenues. Google has also reported a 500 per cent growth in mobile search queries between 2008 and 2010.”

Panday adds that the mobile advertising industry has moved ahead from the trial and experimental phase, with many brands are now spending significant sums on mobile campaigns on a regular basis. “The investments from big players such as Google and Apple validates the market opportunity, resulting in brands and agencies more actively considering mobile for their campaigns,” he says.

In 2010, several mobile operators, including Orange and O2 in the UK, Movistar Spain, VimpelCom Russia, Maxis Malaysia and Claro Argentina, have launched services and trials to encourage their subscribers to opt in to mobile advertising and receive reward points in exchange for viewing ads on their mobile phones. They join the Turkish operator Turkcell, which has been running such a programme for many years. Informa says it is becoming quite clear to the operators that close partnerships with other value chain players are essential, and represents a better strategy than attempting to build an in-house mobile advertising solution with its own creative and sales teams.

Informa believes the mobile advertising market will go through a sustained period of consolidation over the next 12-18 months, noting that the big value chain players have been on the acquisition trail for companies that will integrate seamlessly with their own platforms, to ensure they have end-to-end mobile ad-serving capability.

Theres more information about the research here.