Mobile advertising to hit $20.6B in 2015

Led by the Asia-Pacific region, worldwide mobile ad revenues will grow six-fold over this year's forecast of US$3.3 billion, with search and maps top market contributors, reveals new report.

Worldwide mobile advertising revenue will reach US$20.6 billion by 2015, as advertising budgets dedicated to the mobile platform expand, according to a new report from Gartner.

In a Friday statement, the research firm said global mobile ad revenue is set to amount to US$3.3 billion this year, more than twice the US$1.6 billion generated in 2010.

"In 2011, we are finally seeing some important drivers fall into place, so that we can expect the market to more than double year-over-year in the coming two years," said Andrew Frank, research vice president at Gartner, in the statement.

Between 2011 and 2015, the Asia-Pacific region will continue to lead mobile ad revenues, growing from US$1.6 billion this year to US$6.9 billion in 2015, Gartner said. However, its share of the market will slip from 49.2 percent to 33.6 percent within the same timeframe, as revenues from North America and Western Europe catch up to Asia-Pacific's.

North America, predicted Gartner, is set to increase from US$701.7 million in 2011 to US$5.8 billion in four year's time, while Europe will leap from this year's US$569.3 million to US$5.1 billion in 2015.

The research firm added that mobile advertising budgets are expected to expand, growing from 0.5 percent of the total advertising budget in 2010 to more than 4 percent in 2015. As more consumers adopt smartphones and media tablets, mobile advertising audiences will also increase, driving the mobile advertising spend for brands and advertisers.

Delving into its analysis, Gartner said search and maps will be top revenue performers, while video and audio ads will enjoy the fastest growth through to 2015.

Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner, added that various types of mobile advertising will behave differently: "Mobile search, which includes paid positioning on maps and various forms of augmented reality--all of which can be informed by location--will spearhead mobile ad spending.

"Mobile display consisting of Mobile Marketing Association banner formats and nonstandard rich media and interactive formats will be divided between in-app and mobile Web (in-browser placement, reflecting consumer usage."

According to Frank, brand marketers should not delay their trials to include mobile as part of their advertising, and need to have "budgets in place now to take advantage of mass consumer adoption of smartphones and media tablets".

He pointed out, however, that the mobile ad growth momentum over the next few years does not mean that the experience delivered by mobile advertising will reach its "optimum point".

"We expect that targeting and contextualization, especially in social sites and applications, will carry on improving throughout the forecast period and beyond," he said.