The Third Screen: Mobile in 2012

As the year comes to a close, time to look ahead to some of the mobile market numbers projected for 2012.

As expected, the amount spent on most aspects of mobile is projected to continue to increase, some faster than others. Much of this is being driven by the continuing migration to smartphones with more people having more mobile capabilities provided by an evolving mobile industry. So here is a look at some of the mobile numbers for 2012.

  • $1.2 billion in mobile spending on direct marketing. While a relatively small amount of marketing dollars, the mobile spending of just over $1 billion dollars is a 30% increase over this year, says the Direct Marketing Association.

  • $1.8 billion in mobile ad spending. For the U.S., eMarketer sees an increase from the $1.2 billion it projected as the 2011 ad spend number to close to $2 billion in 2012. For Europe, ad spending of $400 million is forecast by mobileSquared.

  • $2.1 billion on ringtones and ringbacks. Down only slightly from this year, people will continue to spend  more than $2 billion on personalization services of ringtones and ringbacks next year, says research firm Gartner.

  • $2.4 billion U.S. mobile ad revenue. This would be a growth of 65% over this year, according to research from mobileSquared. Mobile search is expected to be the growth driver here, accounting for more than $1 billion, or 43% of all mobile ad revenue. Google alone has projected its mobile revenue rate at $2.5 billion annually.

  • $10 billion in mobile commerce. With an annual compound growth rate of 39% for the next five years, Forrester Research projects $10 billion to be spent by the end of next year, driven by consumers purchasing more products and service from their mobile phones.

  • $15 billion on worldwide mobile retail campaigns. That’s a 50%  increase over this year and accelerating faster in North America and Western Europe than in the Far East and China, says Juniper Research.

 In addition to the dollars involved, individual behavior is evolving, with more people doing more things mobile. For example, 29 million people will redeem mobile coupons, an increase of 14%, says eMarketer. Those redeemed coupons will be worth more than the $5 billion redeemed this year, according to Juniper.

The proliferation in the number of apps, which passed the 1 million mark. The number of people using them will continue to skyrocket. A sampling:

  • 148 million people in the U.S. using mobile apps. This will be an increase of 27% over this year, according to UK-based research from mobileSquared. The growth is primarily being driven by Android smartphones, up 65%  to 27 million.

  • 44 million mobile health app downloads. Next year, apps to help you keep fit, eat better and be healthier will be downloaded 44 million times, says Juniper. And they aren’t all free.

  • 50 billion apps to be downloaded. That’s how many Android and iPhone apps the apps analytics firm Flurry expects to be downloaded in 2012, roughly double the number downloaded in 2011.


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