Report: Huge Global Mobile Advertising Revenue Surge Tops $8.9 Billion In 2012

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.

IAB Global Mobile Advertising Revenues 2012

North America gained market share in 2012 and nearly caught up to Asia-Pacific in 2012. The two regions dominate the mobile ad market.

Global Mobile Ad Revenues

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.

mobile ad type regionally

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Mobile Marketing | Statistics: Mobile Marketing | Top News


About The Author: writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting. Beyond Search Engine Land, Ginny provides search marketing and demand generation advice for ecommerce companies. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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  • Craig Palli

    These numbers from IAB are quite impressive, and it’s no surprise that mobile is gaining more traction year over year, especially as advertisers realize that mobile apps, in particular, provide a compelling canvas for engagement and brand building. However, as more marketers try to figure out how much of their advertising strategy and media dollars should be devoted to mobile app advertising, they are discovering that “traditional” metrics like CPM and CPC aren’t able to capture the real engagement value/ROI of mobile app advertising. After analyzing over 2.4 billion app marketing data points, we believe there is a concrete way to effectively measure the cost per mobile engagement (CPEm). In fact, Fiksu’s research has determined that the average CPEm is 1/10th the cost of a desktop click. You can read more about my thinking and analysis here….

    Craig Palli, chief strategy officer, Fiksu,

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