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Mobile Rich Media Advertising to Near $2.8 Billion by 2012

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Media Analyst Screen Digest has just published its latest report and says that it believes the market for rich media advertising on mobile will reach USD2.79 billion by 2012, with global mobile TV advertising accounting for the lions share at USD2.44 billion. In terms of the formats that will deliver this revenue, there are those that will deliver, and those that will disappoint.

By 2012 advertising will account for over 20% of mobile TV revenues, but without its own metrics it will struggle to be considered a stand alone advertising channel. Free-to-air broadcast markets such as Japan and South Korea will offer bigger advertising opportunities than markets where mobile TV will be offered as paid subscriptions to the consumer, such as North America and most of Europe. Mobile Video-on-Demand advertising will be small in comparison, reaching USD336 million in 2012 by supporting extracts from popular programmes and sponsoring recurring content such as news and weather forecasts.

In terms of delivering advertising revenues, Screen Digest believes that games, UGC and music will disappoint. However, these formats will provide a valuable source of innovative marketing opportunities for brands aspiring to connect and interact with their customers. For example, Screen Digest predicts that by 2012 over 60 million ad-funded mobile games will be downloaded per year worldwide.

More ubiquitous than the PC, mobile offers the opportunity to send personalised messages to people in all markets. Advertising sent via the mobile phone reaches the recipient directly, wherever they are, at any time and location, offering effective targeting as well as interactivity and consumer engagement.

Yet despite these benefits, mobile advertising is very much in its infancy. Julien Theys, one of the authors of the report notes the factors that are holding back the mass market take up of mobile advertising: "Data pricing structures, handset and mobile web usability, content quality and the lack of audience metrics to measure effectiveness are preventing mobile advertising from reaching its market potential. Although we expect these hurdles to be overcome in the coming years, mobile media advertising will have to compete with search, display, messaging advertising as well as many innovative uses of mobile in marketing campaigns."

View from GroupM: An emerging format with potential

The advertising executives surveyed in GroupM's agencies in 25 countries were positive about the capabilities offered by mobile advertising, in particular targeting by location, interactivity and high response rates. To date only 15% had used mobile advertising, either as a stand alone or integrated campaign, underlining Screen Digest's view that this is an emerging technology. Of those agencies that had trialled mobile advertising, 75% had used mobile content at least once as a promotional item, while 67% had at least once placed an ad in rich media. The reasons given for not incorporating it into ad campaigns included poor user experience and usability, handset limitations and the lack of clear measurement metrics.

David MacQueen, Head of Mobile and co-author of the report concludes "Mobile advertising, and mobile rich media advertising in particular, is a growing industry with a rapidly evolving landscape. Nokia, Microsoft and Google have been very active in developing mobile advertising operations, either internally or through external acquisitions. The potential is huge, and some of the world's largest companies are vying for control of what they see as the next major advertising medium."

Rich media mobile advertising market forecast by region

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