Search ads on mobile to hit US$2bn

21 May 2008

Annual ad spend on mobile search will reach US$445m in 2008 – representing more than 34pc of total mobile ad spend – before rising to over US$2bn by 2013.

As operators abandon the ‘walled garden’ model, consumers are increasingly searching for content both on- and off-portal, thereby providing a substantial target audience for advertisers, according to Juniper Research.

Juniper said there are significant opportunities for advertising across a host of mobile applications and delivery mechanisms, with nascent channels such as MMS and idle-screen advertising attracting a combined annual ad spend of more than US$1bn within five years.

Juniper Research’s principal analyst, Dr Windsor Holden, explained that mobile advertising was historically dominated by campaigns conducted almost exclusively via SMS.

“The mass adoption of 2.5G and 3G handsets – combined with the development of applications enabling targeted, instant measurement and frequency capping – mean we now have a situation where consumers can receive personalised advertising across a variety of rich-media delivery channels.”

Juniper said total mobile ad spend will rise from US$1.3bn in 2008 to over US$7.6bn in 2013.

Mobile search revenues (including data charges) will reach US$4.8bn by 2013.

Both mobile search ad spend and total mobile ad spend will be highest in the Far East/China region, followed by western Europe and North America.

Juniper Research observed that a single advertising campaign may well utilise a number of different channels within the mobile environment.

These include idle-screen, mobile TV campaigns, display advertising and SMS.

The most successful campaigns will not merely utilise these different channels, but will integrate mobile within a campaign across multiple media to increase brand awareness.

While initial mobile advertising campaigns were largely ad hoc affairs, advertisers are increasingly moving towards incorporating mobile advertising within a planned campaign as they become more comfortable with the medium and – crucially – as the potential reach of mobile advertising increases.

By John Kennedy