Global Mobile Ad Spend Passed $5B in ’11; Search Took 62% Chunk

June 7, 2012

iab-global-mobile-ad-spend-in-2011-june2012.pngGlobal mobile advertising spend reached $5.3 billion in 2011, according to a joint report from the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence in the US, IAB Europe, and IHS Screen Digest. Search accounted for the largest portion of mobile ad spending, at 62%, or $3.3 billion. Search’s dominance was most prevalent in the Asia-Pacific region, where it accounted for more than 72% of the region’s leading $1.92 billion in ad spend. In North America, the next-largest region by spend ($1.7 billion), search accounted for a more modest 48% share. Display picked up the slack in North America, with the largest absolute value ($572 million) and spend share (34%) of any of the regions. In Europe, search held 65% share of the $1.4 billion market, with display (27%) and messaging (8%) making up the remainder.

Latin America ($188 million) and the Middle East and Africa ($172 million) had the smallest 2011 mobile ad market sizes. While search was dominant in the Middle East and Africa (72% share), mobile messaging spend was largest in Latin America (44% share).

According to an April 2012 report from the IAB, mobile held 5% share of total 2011 US online ad revenues, up from 3% in 2010. This was the fastest-growing online category, rising 149% to $1.6 billion, from $641 million in 2010. Mobile revenues fueled 3.7% of the total online ad revenue growth of 22%.

Mobile Ads Influence Purchases for 1 in 2

Data from a Prosper Mobile Insights survey also released in June suggests that mobile advertising dollars are being well spent. Almost half of the US smartphone and tablet owners responding to the survey said that ads viewed on their devices either regularly (7.3%) or occasionally (39.9%) influence the products or brands they purchase.

Interestingly, men appear to be more commonly influenced by mobile ads than women. 51% reported at least occasionally having their purchase influenced by a mobile ad, compared to 43.7% of women, a 17% difference.

35% Pay Attention to Ads While Surfing the Web

The Prosper Mobile Insights survey also examines the extent to which smartphone and tablet owners pay attention to ads while engaged in a variety of activities on their devices. Respondents were most likely to fully pay attention to ads while surfing the web, with 74% reporting having at least occasionally done so. A majority also reported at least occasionally paying attention to ads while visiting social media sites (59.5%), downloading applications, music, and others (55.3%), watching video clips (53.2%), shopping on their device (52.9%), and playing games (50.8%).

However, only 36.3% reported paying attention to a mobile ad while watching full TV episodes.

Other Findings:

  • There was little variation between men and women’s responses in terms of paying attention to mobile ads. The most significant disparities were found while downloading (59.2% men vs. 51.7% women) and shopping on their device (55.4% men vs. 50.6% women).
  • 28% of respondents said they had ever paid for an “ad-free” version of an app on their device.
  • Only 1 in 5 would be willing to pay to remove ads from their favorite social media sites.

About the Data: The mobile ad market report notes that market size is gross, defined as after discounts, before agency commissions. Global market sizing and format split is based on reported data by local IABs and a statistical and econometric model. Reported data has been harmonized to adjust for discounts and agency commissions. Modeled data is based on variables such as smartphone penetration, 3G subscriptions, messaging volume. Model has been refined based on benchmarking variables such as ad spend per capita and ad spend per mobile subscriber as well as through interviews with key players across the mobile advertising ecosystem. Model also takes into account typology of mobile ad markets in terms of maturity and format proliferation.

The Prosper Mobile Insights data is based on a survey of 331 smartphone and tablet users on their devices, conducted from May 21 to May 25, 2012.

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