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Weekly Web Watch: Mobile Ad Market Soars

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Marketers hoping for an immediate response from consumers are jumping on the mobile bandwagon, to the tune of a projected $20.6 billion advertising market by 2015.

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The mobile advertising market worldwide will reach $3.3 billion this year, more than double the $1.6 billion spent in 2010, a new report from Gartner Inc. projects. And, the tech research company predicts that the market will double again in 2012 and keep on growing, to reach $20.6 billion by 2015.

The biggest draw for advertisers is the opportunity for placement alongside search results and on maps, reflecting the immediate, location-based needs of the mobile public. But splashier and more memorable video and audio ads are expected to grow fast, too.
The portion of ad budgets devoted to mobile will grow from a tiny .5% last year to about 4% in 2015, the report says.

The attractive attribute of mobile advertising is the potential for immediate consumer response to that "call to action." A mobile user is likely to be task-oriented, searching for actionable information like the location of the nearest café. Sure sounds like catnip for Starbucks.

One interesting note on mobile demographics, from marketing news site Clickz.com: Older and more affluent smartphone users are more likely to interact with advertising, presumably because they might be in a position to actually buy the thing that is advertised.

Meanwhile, in the wider Internet world, another report predicts that Facebook will overtake Yahoo (YHOO) this year for top display advertising share in the U.S., growing its ad revenues by 81% year over year. Emarketer expects Facebook to own a 17.7% share of the U.S. market, totaling about $2.2 billion in ad sales, compared with Yahoo!'s 13% share. Facebook's sheer number of users, and the amount of time they spend on Facebook pages (and therefore the number of times they click on pages that contain ads), are credited for the surge.

Google (GOOG) is expected to come in third in the list, growing ads by 34% for a 9.3% share.

EMarketer projects that all of the top five -- Facebook, Google, Microsoft (MSFT), Yahoo, and AOL (AOL) -- will show double-digit gains in display advertising as the overall market grows 24.5%.

In a somewhat contrarian view, an advertising strategist argues the unique benefits of Google's YouTube to advertisers in FastCompany.

And in a truly contrarian view, Microsoft Advertising and BBDO Worldwide just released a study that argues that television advertising still has power, with its passive audience of people "receptive, waiting to be entertained and humored."

In Depth:

  • MediaPost analyzes the most and least memorable mobile advertising formats and platforms.

  • CNet reports that Google Android smartphones are capturing the biggest share of mobile ad impressions.

In Brief:

Cures for "Facebook Fatigue"

Media consultant Blake Snow has a lucid theory
on why Facebook may indeed have reached saturation point in the US and other countries where it has topped 50% of the population. In short, once we've seen all of our friends' babies twice, and read all of our friends' tediously repetitive updates one time too many, we're ready to go back to real life, at least for a while.

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