Anticipated Growth in Mobile Advertising

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

According to Juniper Research, worldwide spending on mobile advertising last year amounted to only $1.4 billion – less than one-third of one percent of total ad revenue.

But Windsor Holden, a principal analyst at Juniper Research, recently predicted that mobile ad spending worldwide will more than quadruple, to $6 billion, by 2014.

With companies like Google and Apple introducing new mobile devices and buying up ad firms specializing in the small screen, it’s possible. Apple, seeing big potential in mobile advertising, is acquiring a specialist in that business,. Quattro Wireless. And Google is buying one of the largest players in the field, AdMob.

In countries like Canada, new mobile carriers are launching and getting phones into more hands of those living in rural areas as well as urban dwellers who don’t like the prices and/or contracts that the big carriers have been asking. Even if they buy a basic phone at the beginning, it won’t be long before these new mobile phone users are clamouring for the smart phone. So there should be more phones to receive ads.

The mobile phone offers advertisers all the benefits of traditional Internet ads, including the ability to track their effectiveness. And it lets marketers reach consumers on the go – although some marketers remain wary about trying it, for fear of annoying consumers by intruding on their personal space. And thumbnail-size banner ads don’t make a huge impression.

With the introduction of Apple’s iPad, a new approach to mobile ads could be near. But since this version of the iPad does not support Adobe Flash, the software used for much PC-based advertising, marketers may have to develop new kinds of ads.

This week, we’ve heard of a company that will soon be launching a new product to monitor the performance of downloadable applications and mobile services on smart phones connected to live mobile operator networks, to ensure they perform properly worldwide. Things like that are expected to build confidence among advertisers.

But at this end, the jury is still out on whether 2010 will be the big growth year for ads on mobile!

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