Commentary

Mobile Advertising To Hit $5.7B By 2014

mobile ads upUK-based Juniper Research offers the latest bullish forecast on mobile advertising, predicting spending worldwide will grow to $5.7 billion by 2014 (from $1 billion in 2008). The telecom research firm expects mobile ad budgets to grow strongly over the next five years, with the mobile Internet becoming the main advertising channel.

The report notes that mobile has benefited from the recession-induced shift of ad dollars from traditional to digital media to obtain more direct engagement with consumers and quantifiable return on investment. But Juniper warns that even with impressive growth, mobile will still only account for a tiny fraction of total ad spending, at 1.5%.

So that means mobile will go from being invisible on the advertising landscape to being a blip. While a handful of major brands have made significant investment in mobile, most advertisers are convinced the medium offers sufficient reach to justify increased budgets, according to Juniper. I thought reach was always one of the selling points for mobile advertising since an estimated 4 billion people have cell phone subscriptions. But if that's still viewed as a major barrier to increased spending because of fragmentation among carriers, operating systems and devices, it doesn't bode well for mobile marketing.

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