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.