Portals & Directories Lead Q4 Mobile Advertising

January 28, 2010

Portals and directories led all mobile advertising verticals in mobile advertising spend during Q4 2009, according to [pdf] the U.S. Scorecard for Mobile Advertising Reach and Targeting (SMART) report from Millennial Media.

This marks the first time since Millennial Media began releasing its SMART report in March 2009 that portals and directories held the number one spot. Entertainment, the Q3 2009 top spot holder, dropped to number four. Portals and directories consistently ranked in the top three mobile advertising verticals for spend throughout 2009.


The number two ranked ad vertical, telecommunications, was up from the number six spot in Q3 2009. Telecommunications held the number two position in Q2 2009 as well – a reflection of device promotions delivered in numbers around the Q4 2009 holidays, according to Millennial Media research.

The finance vertical was absent from the Q2 2009 top 10 list all together, but then jumped from number eight in Q3 2009’s top 10 and landed as the number three ad vertical in the Q4 top 10. Millennial Media anticipates the financial services and banking sectors to continue their upward ad spend trend in 2010 by extending their products and services via mobile banking sites and applications.

Travel moved up from the number 10 spot which it held for two consecutive quarters to number eight. Made up of four sub-verticals, hotels, airlines, railways and tourism, travel is a suitable ad vertical for mobile’s on-the-go audience. Millennial Media anticipates travel brands to continue their investment in mobile, as part of their overall marketing strategy in 2010, in order to capture mobile’s unique audience attributes.

Portals Prove Popular with Mobile App Users

The increased focus on mobile advertising by portals and directories appears to be paying off, based on recent research by Strategy Analytics. When asked which applications they would most like to access from their mobile phones, cellphone buyers in the US and UK chose Google as their top app, with more than one-third rating Google as “very interesting.” In addition, Yahoo was rated as “very interesting” by 30% of US/UK cellphone buyers and Yellow Pages by 20%. The second-most popular app was social networking site Facebook; Millennial Media does not break out social networking as a separate mobile advertising vertical.

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