Greystripe 4Q Figures Show Growing Demand For Mobile Advertising

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Mobile ad network Greystripe has been one of the indirect beneficiaries of Apple's iAd launch earlier this year, which helped to raise awareness of mobile display advertising more broadly.

Disney-backed Greystripe has even touted its own rich media "Ad-like" units even though the company was putting full-screen, interactive ads in mobile apps well before Apple debuted iAd.

To give some insight on growing demand for mobile advertising, Greystripe today released some figures comparing its business now to a year ago. Among them, the company is forecasting bookings for the fourth quarter showing a 600% increase from the year-earlier period. (The company doesn't disclose actual revenue figures.) Retail, automotive, and consumer packaged goods brands lead the way when it comes to embracing mobile.

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"Last year, mobile was largely seen as optional and experimental. This year, mobile is a primary component of holiday campaigns," said Greystripe CEO Michael Chang. He added that the company expects a majority of Fortune 100 consumer brands to run mobile ad efforts this quarter and the upward trend to continue into 2011.

In another sign of growing marketer enthusiasm, three-quarters of advertisers are buying across at least two smartphone platforms, with iPhone and Android being the most popular. "This roughly doubles the cross platform interest from its advertiser base just three months ago," according to Greystripe.

Expansion to the Google platform also underscores the emergence of Android as a serious rival to Apple's iOS, capturing a roughly 20% share of the U.S. smartphone OS market this year and climbing. Google last week disclosed mobile revenue of $1 billion on annualized basis, though most of that is from search advertising.

Greystripe also noted about half of brand advertisers are now running campaigns both within mobile apps and on the mobile Web. The company only expanded its ad offerings to the mobile Web last month. "Many brands have been embracing this new advertising option, which helps to address the fragmentation that can occur when trying to deliver ads across multiple platforms," said Chang.

Greystripe says its rich media mobile Web ads are also driving click-throughs at nearly triple the rate of traditional static mobile banners. But high-impact, animated ads are supposed to deliver better results, right?

A new forecast from eMarketer earlier this week predicted U.S. mobile advertising this year will grow nearly 80% to $743 million. As a subset, mobile display spending is expected to increase 122%. SMS messaging will remain the largest single ad category within mobile, accounting for $327 million of the total, but not growing as fast as display, video or search.

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