Mobile & Social Media Revenue Accelerating At 30%

According to new data from PQ Media, total U.S. mobile & social media revenue, including consumer and business access, content, advertising and marketing, increased 30.2% to $45.38 billion in 2011. Mobile & social media revenue rose at a compound annual growth rate of 28.7% from 2006-2011, and is expected to grow at an accelerating 30.8% annual rate in 2012.

The PQ Media U.S. Mobile & Social Media Forecast 2012-16 identified 3 broad sectors of mobile & social media, starting with performance in 2011:

  • Mobile content & access was largest mobile & social media sector in 2011 at $39.2 billion, with revenues from business segment accounting for 58% of total
  • Mobile advertising & marketing was fastest growing sector in 2011, expanding 53.7%, led by advertising segment’s 60.9% growth
  • Online social media was smallest industry sector at $2.83 billion, but social networks was the largest and fastest growing segment by far, increasing 45.9% to $2.28 billion

PQ Media President and CEO, Patrick Quinn, noted that “... the mobile media sector alone reached the $1 billion revenue mark faster than any communications industry in history in 2008, taking only five years compared with 16 for the internet... (and) will reach the $100 billion mark in 2015 faster than any other communications industry... “

Key Mobile & Social Media Takeaways

The report estimates that total mobile & social media revenues increased 30.2% to $45.38 billion in 2011, and rose at a compound annual growth rate of 28.7% since 2006

Mobile content & access is the largest of the three broad mobile & social media sectors, accounting for more than 85% of all annual revenues, with the business mobile content & access segment representing nearly half of all mobile & social media annual revenues

U.S. Mobile Media Revenue, Growth & Share in 2011


2011 Revenue ($B)

2011 vs. 2010


Mobile Content & Access




  Business Mobile Content & Access




  Consumer Mobile Content & Access




Mobile Advertising & Marketing




  Mobile Advertising




  Mobile Marketing




Total Mobile Media




Source: PQ Media Mobile & Social Media Forecast 2012-2016, January 2012

Mobile media quickest medium to $1 billion – taking 5 yrs compared with 16 yrs for the internet.  Going forward, mobile media revenues expected to exceed $100 billion by 2015, taking 12 years to surpass this benchmark, outpacing subscription TV and the Internet by nearly 20 years. 

Mobile Media Expected to Grow Almost 30% in 2012; Revenues to Exceed $55 Billion


 2012 vs. 2011

Mobile Content & Access


  Business Mobile Content & Access


  Consumer Mobile Content & Access


Mobile Advertising & Marketing


  Mobile Advertising


  Mobile Marketing


Total Mobile Media


Source: PQ Media Mobile & Social Media Forecast 2012-2016, January 2012

Of the 44 mobile & social media revenue streams, 11 exceeded $1 billion in 2011, up from 4 in 2006, and PQ Media forecasts that 23 will reach this benchmark by the end of 2016.

By 2016, U.S. mobile & social media is expected to account for nearly 10% of total communications revenue ($1.4 trillion), growing about 20 times faster than the overall industry during the 2006-2016 period

Mobile Advertising Segment; Video Ads Largest Stream, In-Game Ads Fastest Growing

Mobile Advertising (1.8 Billion)

Share (%)

Streaming video


Mobile search


Mobile in-game


Banner display


SMS outbound texts




Streaming audio


Source: PQ Media Mobile & Social Media Forecast 2012-2016, January 2012

Market Snapshots:

  • The average U.S. citizen over the age of 12 spent more than 100 hours in 2011 accessing content on wireless devices, such as smartphones, computer tablets and e-readers
  • The average person spends about 400 hours per year on the internet, with about one-quarter of the time is spent on social media sites
  • Over 285 million mobile phones were operating in the U.S. in 2011, of which about 34% were smartphones. Business end users accounted for nearly 60% of smartphone users in 2011, but consumer end users will make up a larger majority by 2016
  • More than 36 million computer tablets and e-readers were operating in the U.S. in 2011. Consumer end users accounted for nearly 60% of the users in 2011, but business end users will make up a larger majority by 2016

For more information and details about the study, please visit PQMedia here.

1 comment about "Mobile & Social Media Revenue Accelerating At 30%".
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  1. Lisa Gangadeen from The 33480 Group LLC, February 7, 2012 at 4:39 p.m.

    Thank you for the in-depth information about Mobile Marketing and Social Media. As an online marketing company, we are ecstatic to be a part of the super fast growth opportunities.

    Lisa Gangadeen, President of The 33480 Group LLC

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