Mobile devices are ubiquitous but ad market isn’t growing

Mobile internet usage has been growing all around the world and India is no exception. PC sales is on a decline this year (2012) for the first time since 2001. We have seen phenomenal growth ourselves in Oneindia’s mobile properties. But the monetization on mobile has always been a challenge, at least for us. In a recently published article “The challenge for mobile ads” talks about the same problem,

  • People are going to spend more time staring at mobile screens than television screens.
  • U.S. mobile ad market is still in the single digit billions while TV still exceeds $130 billion a year.
  • Tablet ownership has doubled in a year and smartphone ownership is nearing half of the U.S. population (Pew).
  • If mobile devices are so ubiquitous, why isn’t the ad market growing faster?
  • eCPM on the desktop web is about $3.50, compared to 75 cents CPM on the mobile web.
  • Are higher CTRs on mobile ads due to fat fingers?

Few mobile marketing numbers from US and Japan (which don’t look bad by any means to a person in India!),

  • Japan: $1.01 billion (2010), $1.36 billion (2011), $1.7 billion (2012*)
  • US: $1.16 billion (2011), $2.3 billion (2012*)
  • Asia-Pacific will reach $2.5 billion in 2012. Japan & South Korea lead in Asia-Pacific.
  • Western Europe $1.3 billion (2012*)
  • Eastern Europe  $121 million(2012*)
  • Worldwide, mobile ad spending should hit $6.4 billion in 2012.
  • Mobile advertising accounted for less than 1% of total ad spending worldwide in 2011

Most people say these are early days for mobile marketing, reminds you of second half of 1990s when internet advertising had just started. India has many companies today that focus on mobile marketing.

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