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Mobile advertising market will hit $41.9 billion by 2017, says Gartner

Peo­ple with media jobs in mobile adver­tis­ing agen­cies gen­er­al­ly like to stay abreast of the lat­est trends in this grow­ing cor­ner of Adland, so when Gart­ner pro­duces a new report on the state of the mar­ket, every­one tends to sit up and lis­ten. The lat­est bul­letin from the IT research and advi­so­ry giant pre­dicts that glob­al mobile adver­tis­ing spend­ing will hit $18 bil­lion in 2014, a major hike upwards on the 2013 total of $13.1 billion.

Sup­ply and demand

But before pop­ping the cham­pagne corks, it’s worth not­ing that the path to that increased spend is not entire­ly straight. Mobile adver­tis­ing might be catch­ing on at an accel­er­at­ed rate, but Gart­ner thinks that a peri­od of decel­er­a­tion may be on the cards for the next three years, large­ly because mobile inven­to­ry is out­pac­ing demand.

This isn’t, how­ev­er, a prophe­cy of doom. Gart­ner also thinks that adver­tis­ers will main­tain a “sus­tained inter­est” in the chan­nel over the same peri­od, to such an extent in fact that it fore­casts the mar­ket will be worth a wal­lop­ing $41.0 bil­lion by 2017. The tal­ent of mobile adver­tis­ing agen­cies, it seems, will remain in demand.

The growth is being fuelled by what Gart­ner describes as “improved mar­ket con­di­tions”. In plain lan­guage, that means it’s being bol­stered by bet­ter tar­get­ing tech­nolo­gies, greater mea­sure­ment stan­dard­iza­tion and grow­ing provider consolidation.

North Amer­i­can mobile mar­ket to grow fastest

While just about every­where on Plan­et Earth with mobile net­works see “strong growth”, North Amer­i­ca will end up with by far the biggest slice of that cake, the ana­lyst con­fi­dent­ly pre­dicts, chiefly because of the much larg­er scale of the bud­gets. The shift to mobile also seems to be hap­pen­ing faster and ear­li­er in the US – along with Asia Pacific/Japan, it’s the part of the world where mobile adver­tis­ing is most mature.

Of all the for­mats in mobile adver­tis­ing, video is expect­ed to grow at the fastest rate, a tes­ti­mo­ny to the bur­geon­ing uptake of tablets, although dis­play will still gen­er­ate the lion’s share of the rev­enue. An inter­est­ing new twist is the pre­dict­ed move away from the immense­ly pop­u­lar in-app ad dis­play towards mobile web dis­play — a tran­si­tion which has suf­fered because of the length of time new HTML5 tools in mobile web­site devel­op­ment have tak­en to make an impact on the market.

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