Two recent reports show continued growth in the mobile sector.
eMarketer forecasts suggest the mobile ad revenues will be up 65% this year, reaching $1.23 billion. The mobile advertising sector, which includes display ads, messaging- based campaigns and promotions, and search engine placements, is expected to be in the neighborhood of $4.4 billion by 2015.
Currently, messaging-based formats are the primary mobile ad campaign strategy,, but the eMarketer researchers predict that spending on banners and rich media will pull even with search revenues next year and bypass spending on messaging campaigns. By 2015, they expect spending on search strategies will dominate mobile advertising revenues. The study also forecasts continued rapid growth in video ads for mobile.
The other report, from online use trackers comScore, showed that almost half of America's 112 million mobile phone users currently report regularly using their devices to access media content (beyond voice and text). comScore Senior VP and senior mobile analyst Mark Donovan, presenting the report at the Interactive Advertising Bureau's MMX conference, stated that the emergence of smartphones have been a key factor driving mobile media consumption, but that tablets are affecting consumer behaviors at an even faster pace.
The report indicates that conventional computer systems still account for 93% of all Web traffic, but that mobile devices account for about two-thirds of all non-PC Web access. Donovan suggested that the rapid growth in mobile Web access is affecting Web publishing efforts, citing comScore metrics showing that top publishers are getting a significant, and growing, portion of their Web traffic through mobile devices. As examples, he indicated that 7.6% of NY Times online use came from mobile devices (USA Today had 10% and the LA Times 11.2%).
Other online services are benefiting even more. The music streaming service Pandora gets more than half (at 52%) of its traffic through mobile devices. Mobile use is also increasing both the amount of use and the time spent on services from social networking (traffic up 12.5%, time spent almost tripled), and mobile use boosts traffic to online mapping services by 56.8%, and increases time on site more than nine-fold
Donovan suggested that mobile adoption and use is nearly several of the standard measures for reaching "critical mass," and that tablets in particular are likely to be "game-changers" driving shifts in media consumption patterns.
Forecast: U.S. mobile ad spending to reach $1.23B in 2011, FierceMobileContent
Smartphones, Mobile Internet Set Stage for Increased Mobile Ad Spend, eMarketer press release