Global mobile advertising topped $8.9B & jumped 83% in 2012, thanks to a global smartphone boom

Medialets, rich media mobile advertising

Wow, never thought those accidental clicks on ads on your smartphones are going to turn into a mega-billion dollars business! Jokes aside, the shift to mobile is reshaping the business landscapes and advertising isn’t any different.

According to data released by the US Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), IAB Europe and IHS, a research company, the worldwide mobile advertising revenues hit $8.9 billion in 2012, up about 82.9 percent over 2011 revenues of $4.3 billion. Gartner Research had predicted that global mobile advertising revenues would be around 9.76 billion in 2012 and would increase to about $11.4 billion in 2013. Looks like they were off a little.


The growth in advertising can be correlated to the fact that there are many more smartphone owners worldwide and those numbers continue to go up. Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg when speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona pointed out that half the phones shipped in 2013 will be smartphones.

North America which includes the U.S., accounted for $4.7 billion in mobile ads in 2012, about 111 percent jump in total dollars. In 2011, North America accounted for $2.5 billion in advertising.However, the overall North American ad-market share declined from 58 percent of the total in 2011 to roughly 39.8 percent in 2012.

From the IAB press release:

With growth rates of 88.8 percent in search, 87.3 percent in display and 40.2 percent in messaging at a global level, ad spend in these formats reflects bullish growth in the sector.

Mobile advertising revenue continues to be dominated by the search segment, which represented 52.8 percent of total global mobile advertising revenue, or $4.7 USD (€3.6 billion EURO) in 2012, $2.5 billion in 2011(€1.9 billion). Display advertising accounted for 38.7 percent and messaging 8.5 percent.

The share by region of the global figure of $8.9 billion (€6.9 billion) for 2012 is:

  • Asia-Pacific: 40.2% ($3,558 million/€2,769 million)
  • North America: 39.8% ($3,525 million/€2,743 million)
  • Western Europe: 16.9% ($1,499 million/€1,167 million)
  • Central Europe: 1.3% ($112 million/€87 million)
  • Middle East & Africa: 1.2% ($109 million/€85 million)
  • Latin America: 0.6% ($50 million/€39 million)

Western Europe also saw a major increase, 91 percent over the previous year. Other year-over-year upswings include:

  • Latin America: 71%
  • Central Europe: 69%
  • Middle-East and Africa: 68%
  • Asia-Pacific: 60%

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