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Global mobile ad revenues soar as media is used more effectively

New IAB reports highlight huge upswing in financial revenues and that creative teams are starting to tap into potential of full screen and rich media

IAB logoTwo reports in the last six weeks from The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence indicate a phenomenal increase in mobile advertising revenues and an important shift in how advertising agencies are applying their skills in using the media.

The first of the reports, which was issued in June by the IAB and conducted in conjunction with Price Waterhouse Coopers (pwc) US, states that during the first quarter of 2013 US revenue from mobile advertising rose by nearly 16 per cent, year on year.

And according to the latest report produced by IAB US, IAB Europe and IHS, and published on July 9, mobile advertising saw a staggering 82.8 per cent rise globally in 2012 to reach revenues of $8.9bn (€6.9bn).

The share by region is as follows:

Asia-Pacific: 40.2 per cent ($3,558m/ €2,769m)
North America: 39.8 per cent ($3,525m/ €2,743m)
Western Europe: 16.9 per cent ($1,499m/ €1,167m)
Central Europe: 1.3 per cent ($112m/ €87m)
Middle East and Africa: 1.2 per cent ($109m/ €85m)
Latin America: 0.6 per cent ($50m/ €39m)

"Mobile is coming into its own as a powerhouse advertising medium," said Anna Bager, vice president and general manager, IAB New York. "Today's advertising is happening in a world where ad campaigns can be planned and bought across global networks on multiple media, but the massive and continuing acceleration of mobile's international impact provides new and exciting frontiers for content and communication."

Kimon Zorbas, CEO, IAB Europe, added a European perspective on the research findings. “In Europe we are still experiencing significant economic turmoil and unemployment,” he said. “Despite this reality, our sector is a positive beacon for recovery and growth. The message to European policy makers is they should take into careful consideration the promising opportunities our sector offers and focus on removing barriers to growth.”

Daniel Knapp, director advertising research at IHS, and author of the research, gave some explanation for the rise in mobile ad spend. 
“From a creative and communication standpoint, mobile advertising is hyper-personal,” he said. “But more so than other media, from a business perspective, it is global. Mobile advertising is being planned, bought and sold across national borders and regions. This makes a global market sizing initiative ever more urgent.”  

Key factors for the impressive increase in mobile advertising revenue include rising smartphone adoption/3G and 4G penetration, more time spent on mobile devices, and better advertising monetisation through targeting ad inventory consolidation.

“We have seen a shift from a very fragmented landscape to one that is becoming more networked,“ said Knapp. “Technological innovation has simplified buying mobile inventory at scale, enabling advertisers to better reach larger audiences across multiple publishers and advertising networks,” he continued.

Crucially, this report also said that as more emphasis is given to the creative element in mobile advertising rather than purely leveraging data, mobile's significance as a communications channel will grown even further.

When asked about the role of creativity in mobile as part of an interview with Mobile Marketer, Joe Laszlo, senior director of IAB, New York said: “Up until very recently, the role of creative planning and execution has been pretty small; smaller than maybe it should be.

“It is only recently that we are starting to see mobile ad formats that use the full screen and use rich media effectively.“

12th July 2013

From: Marketing



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