Numbers On The Mobile Sector

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

We see a lot of numbers relating to our industry come across our desk, including various optimistic forecasts, research studies, and monthly, quarterly and annual reports.

These are a few of the numbers, mainly on the mobile sector, that have come across our desk recently, in no particular order, but perhaps of interest to those looking at today’s state of the industry.

  1. One new report indicates that search advertising hasn’t yet caught up with search volume. The study by RBC Capital Markets suggests that mobile searches represent 8% to 10% of overall search queries in 2010 but less than 2% of paid search spend. RBC, however, expects that gap to close in the next few years as the proportion of sponsored listings in mobile search increases, keyword pricing rises, and web-friendly smartphones proliferate. Mobile devices are already estimated to outnumber the number of PCs by five to one worldwide.

    When it comes to specific mobile devices, RBC found that the BlackBerry had the fewest ads per search, with less than 10% of queries showing sponsored results. By contrast, 64% of queries on the iPhone and Google’s own Nexus One smartphone had sponsored listings.

  2. In 2009, under half a billion dollars were spent on mobile marketing and advertising, but over the next five years to the end of 2015, that expenditure will grow at a compound annual rate of more than 40%, according to estimates from ABI Research, New York.

    Among reasons given are that mobile marketing can be relatively inexpensive; ads can be highly targeted and naturally paired with rich mobile content that growing numbers of consumers are accessing through smart mobile devices; mobile applications are ‘eyeball magnets’ that offer a fast-track to potential customers; the advent of HTML 5 will enable brands to offer web-based apps and services aimed at mobile audiences.

    However, there still numerous constraints. These include: fragmentation by the lack of standardized device platforms, networks, and web browsers, and the need often for different campaign formats for different kinds of messages – plus mobile ad-resistant users, limited mobile ad budgets, and a lack of experience with the medium.

  3. Millennial Media’s Scorecard for Mobile Advertising Reach and Targeting (S.M.A.R.T.) looks at its audience reach that equals 82% of U.S. mobile Internet users. Its network includes 11 of the top 25 Neilsen sites. The S.M.A.R.T. May report shows that U.S. Mobile Web increased by approximately 3%, from 73.2M to 75.3M users in April, 2010, according to Nielsen.

    Other statistics in the report showed that there was an 85% increase in advertisers’ spend on rich media; gaming was the top mobile app; the average monthly page views per user was 108; and the average user session time was five minutes and three seconds.

    Millennial Media forecasts that the U.S. mobile web will reach nearly 100 million unique users per month in 2010.

  4. WPP‘s GroupM has a revised forecast for 2010 saying that this year’s overall advertising spending worldwide should reach $451 billion – 3.5% higher than in 2009, with most of that increase coming from growth in China.

    The $451 billion matches the amount spent in 2006-07 or 2004-05, after factoring in consumer price inflation, New York-based GroupM says in releasing its forecast, which included data from 70 nations.

    In the U.S., ad spending this year are expected to drop 1.3% to $145 billion. Last year, $147 billion was spent on advertising, 7% down from 2008 levels. The company expects moderate growth in 2011 in the U.S., consistent with GDP improvement. and a 4.5% increase in worldwide commercial spending. The company says U.S. ad spending should increase to $149 billion next year.

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