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Global mobile advertising revenue skyrockets by 83 percent (and the US does even better)

Mobile advertising revenue enjoyed stratospheric global growth in 2012, soaring by 82.8 percent to hit $8.9 billion, according to new data released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau Mobile Marketing Center for Excellence, IAB Europe and HIS.

The hard work of everyone holding media jobs in the US mobile advertising industry paid especially rich dividends in 2012. The growth in U.S. revenue outstripping the global average at 111 percent, taking the national total to $3.5 billion. That’s a handsome 39.8 percent of the global figure.

The VP and General Manager of the IAB’s Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, Anna Bager, said, “Mobile is coming into its own as a powerhouse advertising medium. Today’s advertising is happening in a world where ad campaigns can be planned and bought across global networks on multiple media, but the massive and continuing acceleration of mobile’s international impact provides new and exciting frontiers for content and communication.”

Search is top of the tree

The lion’s share of global mobile advertising revenue was generated by search, at 52.8 percent. Industry expert Chetan Sharma isn’t surprised. People use their mobile devices to “look for stuff”, he said. Mobile display ads came in second at 37.8 percent and messaging third at 8.5 percent.

Sharma states, “Display is more interactive than messaging and hence it outpaces messaging which, while it is ubiquitous and the most pervasive of the three platforms, has lower utility for marketers.”

Massive audience

The Senior Director of the IAB’s Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, Joe Laszlo, noted the massive scale of the mobile advertising audience in the U.S., where smartphone adoption has now reached 54 percent; that’s 100 million people. Advertisers and mobile advertising agencies, Laslo says, are growing in confidence and experience vis-à-vis the mobile channel, and they’ve learned a lot about what works on tablets and smartphones. They’re also making use of better tools, using standards like MRAID and HTML5 to create exciting mobile advertising campaigns, he said, and they have much better technology to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns.

Sterling Market Intelligence analyst Greg Sterling highlighted the overwhelming might of Google – 90 percent of mobile search revenue will soon be mobile Web-based, he said, and most will go to the search colossus, with Bing and Yahoo far behind.

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