It’s common knowledge among those holding media jobs in mobile advertising agencies that it’s a tough space to attract advertisers into; but intriguing developments in the UK market may lead to plenty of new applicants for media jobs in the industry if they catch on stateside.
New figures published in The Financial Times newspaper reveal that mobile advertising in the UK tripled in the space of a year, soaring from £203m ($311m) in 2011 to £526m ($807m) in 2012. That’s a walloping 148 per cent year-on-year rise.
The smartphone revolution
The rise is attributable to the revolution in handheld devices: around two thirds of the UK’s population now owns a smartphone, a development which has massively changed the face of the ad market. Back in 2008, when Apple’s app store was opened by Steve Jobs, UK mobile advertising stood at a trifling £25m ($38m).
Fast forward to 2012 and mobile display and video advertising alone reached £150m ($230m), up 121 per cent on 2011. Mobile search, which accounts for 69 per cent of all mobile spending in the UK, rocketed by 164 per cent over the same period to hit a record high of £365m ($560m).
While mobile advertising accounted for only 1 per cent of the total digital advertising market in the UK in 2009, by 2012 it had expanded to 10 per cent – a tenfold increase in just three years.
The Internet Advertising Bureau’s Director of Research and Strategy, Tom Elkington, said:
“There is simply so much buzz around mobile. Marketers are becoming more attuned to the ‘always on’ nature of consumers who expect to engage with content wherever they are.”
Onwards and upwards for 2013
And things look set to get even better: the rollout of super-fast 4G services is likely to drive mobile advertising onwards and upwards to new records in 2013; mobile operator EE is already promising to hike up its network speed to 80Mbps across 10 UK cities by the summer.
It seems that the negatives of mobile advertising – finding ads to fit all those different mobile screen sizes – are now being outweighed by mobile’s unique attractions, like touch-sensitive screens and location-based technologies. Ads are more interactive, engaging and relevant as a result.
The writing is on the wall: if you’re looking for promising media jobs in advertising, think mobile.