Mobile advertising stats: Asia will dominate mobile ad spend 2011-2015, but N. America and W. Europe are catching up – Gartner

Of the $3.3 billion that will be spent globally on mobile ads this year, almost half (49.2 percent) of that will come from Asia, mostly from Japan and South Korea, according to Gartner. By 2015 global mobile ad spend will sky-rocket to $20.6 billion, of which Asia’s share will be one-third (33.6 percent), as North America and Western Europe start to eat into Asia’s lead.

Today, through to 2015, mobile search ads, more so than display ads, are most sought-after, though location-based ads will be a strong player in the future… this makes Google a major recipient of this expenditure.

mobiThinking note: it’s very interesting to see mobile ad expenditure broken down into regions. It is also useful that Gartner focuses solely on mobile ads – search, display etc. Often analysts bundle mobile messaging with mobile ads, which clouds the stats.

Mobile Advertising Revenue by Region, Worldwide, 2010-2015 (Millions of US Dollars), according to Gartner
Region 2010 2011 2015
North America 304.3 701.7 5,791.4
Western Europe 257.1 569.3 5,131.9
Asia/Pacific and Japan 868.8 1,628.5 6,925.0
Rest of the World 196.9 410.4 2,761.7
Total 1,627.1 3,309.9 20,610.0
Source: Gartner (June 2011) via: mobiThinking

Significant predictions from Gartner:

• Search ads – buying ad space against key search words – and location ads – paid-for positioning on maps and augmented-reality (AR) apps – will deliver the highest revenue, while video/audio ads will see the fastest growth through 2015.
• Brand spending on mobile advertising will grow from 0.5 percent of the total advertising budget in 2010 to over 4 percent in 2015.

Follow-up questions:
Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner, kindly answered the following questions:

Q: How much of the Asia figure is Japan? Or are we seeing other Asian nations coming into the frame?
A: We have not split out Japan from the APAC region, but I can confirm to you that initially Japan and South Korea together account for about 95 percent of the region. In order to understand this number, you have to bear in mind that our definition of mobile advertising doesn’t include SMS/MMS marketing, ie B2C pushed messages, which are very popular in less mature markets in APAC.

Q: Your research finds that search and location ads are the big drivers of global mobile ad spend, but is location big today? Do you include ‘local’ advertising in this or is it just maps and AR?
A: Location is a forecast driver, but it has not been a big component historically. But the advent of smartphones and tablets will drive location and even context-aware advertising.

Q: While we know that comparing stats is a bit like apples and oranges, we are struggling to equate your estimate for mobile ad spend with Google’s recent announcement that its gross revenue from mobile advertising is over US $1 billion per year. Are we missing something?
A: The Google $1 billion data point has been used as a check point when we established our market size for 2010, although we didn’t use it directly. By the way, because we’re talking 2010 data, Google would represent about 70 percent of the global market then.

Further reading:
• The big compendium of global mobile statistics – every mobile stat you’ll ever need
• What makes Asia Pacific the most exciting mobile market in the world? Interview with Rohit Dadwal, MD Asia Pacific, MMA

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