Was it only four or five years ago when many believed consumers would reject mobile advertising altogether? By 2015, advertising will account for 29.9% of mobile content revenues, eMarketer projects in a recent study. In fact, advertising will drive just over $1 billion in revenue by then, the research company estimates -- a marked increase from the 433.8 million this year. eMarketer is looking primarily at mobile music, games and video in this survey, but in these categories alone, it sees ad revenues growing 52.7% this year.
Back in the day, conventional wisdom held that mobile is one platform where people not only pay for digital content, but do so through a built in micro-transaction mechanism not available to the Web. In the move from carrier-based feature phone downloads to smartphone apps on iOS and Android, that model has remained powerful.
But many publishers complain that the evolving mobile advertising ecosystem is not providing sufficient revenue to support sustained investment. Noah Elkin, principal analyst, Mobile, eMarketer, tells Mobile Marketing Daily: “I think the point here is that while standard banners are the workhorse of advertising, whether on the desktop or mobile devices, publishers and advertisers cannot live by banners alone. As on the desktop, publishers tend to be more optimistic when it comes to richer mobile ads like video, but not counting entirely on advertising.” We will see most publishers maintain a hybrid approach on mobile, combining ad revenues with fees and in-app subscriptions or sales.
eMarketer also finds that mobile video content is where publishers may see the most growth. In its projections into 2015, it estimates that ad revenues for mobile video content will increase 67.5% and generate $213.6 million for publishers in 2015.