Mobile advertising in the U.S. was valued at $421 million last year and should grow to $4.8 billion in 2011. That’s why networks like Fox News are signing up with mobile advertising provider Third Screen Media.
Third Screen Media provides software that wireless carriers use to deliver ads on cell phones. The company also signs on content providers whose programming is featured on wireless phones. Third Screen has lined up The Weather Channel, ESPN, CBS, and TV Guide, as well as advertisers such as Ford, Lexus, American Express, and Visa.
All these folks hope to grab a piece of the expanding mobile advertising pie. But Fox’s commitment is noteworthy because the network will be selling the mobile ads itself, says Jeff Janer, chief marketing officer for Third Screen. The choice to dedicate an internal sales force actually signifies a serious level of commitment to mobile advertising, he adds.
Janer says advertisers are boosting their mobile budgets, too, spending on average $150,000 for a four- to six-week campaign. Inventory has also grown, from about 35 million ad views per month to 175 million across most major cellular carriers.