Mobile is the fastest growing advertising segment (up 60.9% worldwide in 2011, PQ Media) but accounts for only 1% of total ad-spend. Even that low percentage represents $2.6 Billion this year in the US alone (eMarketer).
Brands are fed up with standard ad banners, preferring In-App, rich media. This makes sense, considering that 64% of mobile time is spent on Applications (Nielsen). Consumers are able to engage with the ad without leaving the application or clicking into another browser.
According to Opera, which published the "State of Mobile Advertising Q2, 2012" report this month, iPhone is the top device for monetization, with an average cost-per-thousand (CPM) impressions of $2.85. Android is a close second. Facebook has not yet found a clear mobile advertising strategy but hopes to leverage its dominance in online display advertising, where they control 28% of all online display ads.
Looking ahead, the real growth will come from Tablets, which currently represent only 15% of mobile ad spend (Opera). 14% of American consumers now own a tablet (Nielsen), representing a large addressable audience. According to Yankee Group, tablets will account for 53% of mobile ad dollars in 2014 compared to 47% for mobile handsets. By 2016, tablets' share of mobile ad sales should rise to 60%.
2013 will be the "Year of Consolidation" for mobile advertising. There are simply too many players standing between publishers and advertisers. The ecosystem cannot sustain this many players, particularly those lacking global scale or rich media expertise. Take a look at the Mobile Advertising Monetization Landscape from Inner-Active, listing the major global players across the ecosystem, including exchanges, ad servers and mediation platforms, mobile search, in-app payments, virtual currency, Location Based Services, mobile discovery, analytics, ad networks, rich media, video, RTB and demand side platforms and agencies.
Levi Shapiro is a Partner at TMT Strategic Advisors, a research and strategy firm focusing on the technology, media and telecom sectors. He can be reached at email@example.com or via twitter: @levshapiro
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