Advertising Growth Spreads in All Mobile Formats

According to the quarterly Mobile Advertising Report by Brightkite and GfK Technology, 38% of US mobile phone owners recall seeing advertising on their cell phones in the first quarter of 2009, although for Smartphone (such as iPhone) users, 59% recalled seeing mobile advertising. For iPhone users, the number one format for seeing ads is mobile web advertising, while for other  Smartpphone users, it is SMS. Overall awareness of mobile phone ads has risen in the twelve months, the survey of 1,000 users found, increasing from 6.8% of the user population in Q1 2008 to 10.8% a year later.

The most striking finding of this report, says the summary, is the increased breadth of mobile advertising formats that consumers are noticing. 23% of Smartphone users recall seeing SMS advertising, but 20% saw ads in mobile social networks and 15% saw ads in mobile TV/video. In just three months, the number of Smartphone users seeing ads inside a location-based network has almost tripled to 15%. At current growth rates, the study predicts that some of these formats will surpass mobile web and/or SMS in 2009.

Awareness of Mobile Advertising

 

Percent of Respondents Seeing Mobile Ads

Mobile Format

iPhone Users

Non iPhone Users

Any format

59.3%

38.2%

SMS

22.5

17.6

Mobile web

28.4

10.7

Social network

19.6

7.3

MMS

17.1

7.1

TV/Video

14.8

5.2

LBS

15.4

4.3

Game

7.1

3.7

Mobile radio

9.3

3.6

Source: Brightkite & CfK Technology, Q1 2009

Demographically, men showed the greatest quarterly increase in mobile ad awareness, jumping to 43% in Q1 '09 from 33% the quarter before. The report's authors ascribed the increase to usage growth in mobile Internet, social network, games and radio among the 18-24 age group, whose ad awareness shot to 59% this last quarter from 47% at the end of last year. Ad awareness among women remained steady at about 34%.

The report says that, in addition to being more aware of mobile advertising, phone users are quickly adopting a much broader set of mobile services:

  • 14% now use one or more location based services (peaking at 38% of iPhone users).
  • 10% use a mobile social network (33% of iPhone users).
  • The fastest growing application for iPhone users is games, which experiences a 21% growth quarter over quarter; 50% of iPhone owners are now playing games on their phone.

Use of Mobile Services by Phone Type

 

Percent of Users

Mobile Service

iPhone Users

Non iPhone Users

SMS

81.1%

65.7%

MMS

62.9

43.1

Played a Game

50.2

30.0

Mobile web

55.8

30.1

LBS

38.3

14.3

Social network

33.0

10.3

Mobile TV/Video

27.2

8.1

Mobile radio

6.3

3.8

Source: Brightkite & CfK Technology, Q1 2009

 

Jonathon Linner, Brightkite's CEO "...  we are seeing consumers adopting a much broader set of mobile applications and services... exposing them to new ad formats... iPhone users are almost as likely to see ads in a mobile social network as they are in a text message... unthinkable 12 months ago."

Colin Strong, head of Mobile Communications Research at GfK Technology, concludes that "... mobile advertising, WAP and SMS, are going to be caught up to, and perhaps surpassed, by ads inside of other applications and services."

To learn more from Brightkite and GfK Technology, please visit here.

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