U.S. Mobile Ad Spending Forecast to Exceed $2.6 Billion in 2012

Due to the rapid growth of mobile phones in the world and the advancement of Google's mobile search advertising business, mobile ad spending is expected to grow past $2.6 billion in 2012 according to eMarketer. Mobile ad spending has been nearly doubling over the past couple years each and every year and this year is expected to follow suit.

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EMarketer estimates mobile advertising spending in the U.S. was around $1.45 billion in 2011. This represents an 89 percent climb from 2010 with an estimates spending in the mobile space of $769.6 million. This year, the U.S. mobile ad spending is expected to grow 80 percent to $2.61 billion.

 U.S. Mobile Ad Spending Share, by Ad Network, 2011
  • Google: $750 million (51.7 percent of total)
  • Millennial Media: $90.9 million (6.3 percent)
  • Apple (iAd): $92.4 million (6.4 percent)
  • Others: $517.38 million (36 percent)
  • Total: $1.450.7 billion (100 percent)

“Right now there are many researchers out there looking at nearly the same empirical data about the mobile marketplace and drawing completely disparate conclusions,” said Noah Elkin, eMarketer principal analyst. “In order to form the most complete picture possible about the mobile ad market, we think it’s essential to evaluate multiple information sources—rather than a single dataset—especially as the market remains immature.”

Google dominates the mobile display ad sector with AdMob with $127.5 million in revenues last year, resulting in a 24.8 percent share of overall U.S. mobile ad revenues. Apple’s iAd platform generated $92.4 million in revenues last year, which translated into a 6.4 percent share of overall U.S. mobile ad revenues. Millennial earned $90.9 million, or a 6.3 percent share.

With the market doubling in size these numbers could be changed at any time. But with Android dominating the market and consistently stealing market share from Apple and Millennial, we'll see if their shares in the mobile ad revenues stay consistent with its domination of the mobile market.

“While Google remains a leader in mobile display, it’s too early to call the race,” Elkin explained. “Both Apple and Millennial have healthy, $90-million-plus US businesses, while companies with larger international footprints such as InMobi, Amobee, and JumpTap shouldn’t be discounted either.” It's anyones race right now with the largest share percentage to Google/AdMob at 24 percent.

Overall ad share for Google is around 51 percent, as Millennial and Apple aren’t in the mobile search space. Google has been expanding it's reach in the mobile search space with improvements in targeting, mobile analytics, and improvements in ad placements. Which brings up an interesting question. Do you think Millennial Media or Apple will enter into the mobile search ad space in the next year?