Mobile Advertising Revenues In Canada Grow 93%

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Mobile advertising revenues in Canada grew 93% from 2009 to 2010, totaling just over $52 million in 2010 – and are forecast to grow to $82 million in 2011, according to the fourth annual report by The Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada.

The Top 10 (non-identified) earners in IAB Canada’s Mobile Advertising Revenue Survey accounted for 82% of total net revenues in 2010. Revenue concentration among the Top 10 earners has remained fairly steady over the three years, ranging from 79% in 2008 to 82% in 2009, 2010.

In order to get an update on advertising spend as per other media, but also keep track of the rapidly growing Application development industry; as with 2009 figures, 2010 Mobile advertising revenues were separated into mutually-exclusive ad placement/spend and production-only categories.

Ad placement/spend was the main engine behind the 93% increase in overall Canadian mobile ad revenues in 2010, growing at a rate of 105% year-over-year, driven primarily by Search, with $17.1 million, and Mobile Display/Sponsorship at $15.6 million in net revenue. Mobile Messaging grew by 17% to $12.5 million in 2010, rounding out the top revenue ad placements.

Production-only ad revenues consisted mainly of revenue received for the development of mobile Apps, which experienced a 49% growth rate in 2010, as Consumers traded in their basic handsets for various makes and models of smartphones supporting enhanced advertising and App features.

Consumer packaged goods represented 22% of all reported mobile advertising revenues in Canada in 2010. retail, telecom and automotive follow at a distance with 12%/12%/11% share of revenues respectively. The remaining 43% of total ad revenue is distributed among the following seven categories: financial (9%); entertainment (8%); media (7%); leisure travel (6%); technology (5%); and pharma/healthcare (3%). ‘Other’ made up the 5% difference.

Mobile advertising’s annual revenue growth rate was dramatic in 2010 once again (+105%), compared to the +7.4% growth experienced by the overall Canadian media sector, and was over four times faster than online’s growth of +23% during 2010.

“Mobile has clearly benefited from advertisers’ desire to not miss the mobile train the way they did in the early years of the Internet,” says Steve Rosenblum, director of research, IAB Canada. “In fact, just as it is across the US, UK and Europe, the momentum behind Mobile in Canada is now propelling it into the advertising spotlight with an even greater rate of uptake than we saw during the early years of the Web.”

Paula Gignac, president, IAB Canada says, “Mobile marketing has very fundamental, core differences from Internet marketing, but it definitely benefits from all of the lessons learned by publishers, networks and technology providers who endured the Internet’s rollercoaster ride through Web 1.0 and 2.0.

“The result for marketers is that the ecosystem is also coming together and developing efficiencies faster than we were able to do online, and so it’s even more important that advertisers allocate new budgets for mobile right now – in addition to what’s already allocated for their Internet spend – in order to get the early-mover advantages that they missed out on, on the Internet. Mobile’s always-on and personal nature make it an important place for marketers to build and revitalize brand relationships; extend reach to key audiences; and of course, drive sales through engagement and action-oriented mobile content and App design.”

Tablet revenues were not included in this study, since the Tablet was only introduced in May/10 2010 in Canada, and the first revenue-generating Apps only developed in Sept./10. Tablet Revenue will only be broken out in the 2011 Revenue Survey.

The report notes that a key challenge is the need to grow Mobile’s credibility as a proven advertising medium, requiring concerted action on the following key fronts: access to better mobile reporting of both currency and campaign metrics as well as analytics; resolving the lack of local market audience data for better campaign targeting; and, demonstrating Mobile’s effectiveness and value to advertisers and/or media buyers by conducting more campaign return-on-investment studies.

More resources must also be dedicated towards educating clients on mobile planning and buying basics and campaign best practices. A perceived lack of standardized advertising units/specifications has been held back by intensified mobile device/audience fragmentation across a growing number of different platforms.

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