2012 Forecast: U.S. Mobile Ad Spend No. 1 Worldwide

SmartphoneFor years, the United States has looked to Asia-Pacific markets as the model for mobile innovation.   
According to eMarketer, however, stateside spending on mobile Internet advertising will top all other countries in the world for the first time this year.
Until this year, Japan was the world’s largest market for mobile advertising, with spending reaching $1.36 billion in 2011 -- up from $1.01 billion in 2010. Mobile advertising is more mature in Japan, however, which means growth is far lower than in North American markets.
As such, eMarketer estimates that spending on mobile Internet ads in Japan will grow 27% to $1.7 billion in 2012 versus 35% growth in 2011.
Mobile Internet advertising spending in the U.S. is expected to grow nearly 97% to $2.3 billion in 2012 -- up from $1.16 billion last year.
Worldwide, mobile ad spending should hit $6.4 billion this year, according to eMarketer.
Asia-Pacific is still a strong mobile advertising market, particularly in South Korea and Japan, keeping it far ahead of Europe in mobile spending. Mobile ad spending in Asia-Pacific will reach $2.5 billion in 2012, according to eMarketer -- while mobile advertising spending in Western Europe and Eastern Europe will reach $1.3 billion and $121 million, respectively, this year.
The bigger picture still remains a small piece of the overall ad pie, eMarketer reminds us. Indeed, mobile advertising accounted for less than 1% of total ad spending worldwide last year -- and it will be a long time before it challenges other mainstay global advertising channels like TV, print and Internet ads.
For eMarketer, mobile search ad spending includes advertising on search engines, search applications and carrier portals, while mobile display ad spending includes banners, rich media and video on WAP sites, mobile HTML sites and embedded in-application/in-game advertising.

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