Adding weight to the mantra that 2012 was the year of mobile advertising, a new report finds mobile advertising revenues jumped 83% to $8.9 billion worldwide in 2012.
The report by U.S. Interactive Advertising Bureau, IAB Europe and research firm IHS, shows growth occurred in all regions, but North America, and Western Europe saw the strongest acceleration at 111 percent and 91 percent respectively. Latin America revenues rose 71 percent, edging out Central Europe and the Middle-East and Africa regions, which saw mobile ad revenues grow by 69 and 68 percent, respectively. At 60 percent, Asia-Pacific had the slowest regional growth, though it managed to hold onto its market share lead.
North America gained market share in 2012 and nearly caught up to Asia-Pacific in 2012. The two regions dominate the mobile ad market.
The study sites rising smartphone adoption — there are now over a billion smartphones in the world – and and better ad targeting and inventory consolidation as key drivers fueling mobile advertising growth. “We have seen a shift from a very fragmented landscape to one that is becoming more networked,“ said Daniel Knapp, Director Advertising Research at IHS, and author of the research. “Technological innovation has simplified buying mobile inventory at scale, enabling advertisers to better reach larger audiences across multiple publishers and advertising networks.”
Search advertising dominated the mobile ad market, commanding 52.8 percent of total global mobile advertising revenue, or $4.7 billion in 2012. That’s up from 89 percent from $2.5 billion in 2011. Display advertising also grew at a solid clip of 87.3 percent to claim 38.7 percent of the pie, while messaging chipped in just 8.5 percent of mobile ad revenues. The chart below illustrates the wide differences in format distribution across regions. Messaging, almost non-existent in leading regions, remains dominant in Latin America where smartphone adoption lags.