Selling on Cells to Heat Up

Spending on mobile advertising will reach $14.4 billion by 2011. That’s more than a tenfold growth over the $1.4 billion expected this year, according to a study from Strategy Analytics. The report further forecasts that number will make up 20 percent of total Internet ad spending in 2011.

SA predicts that increases in ad inventory and the simplification of the sales and distribution process, which remains fragmented by platform, ad service and technology problems, will spur the rapid growth in mobile advertising.

The inventory surge and simplification process will be driven primarily by major mobile-network operators, such as Sprint, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone.

The key areas of growth will include game downloads, mobile broadcasting and video-on-demand service. The past year saw an increase in streaming and downloadable video and audio content, but ad-supported models remain scarce compared to subscription or fee-based services. However, SA points to the recent acquisitions of Third Screen Media by AOL, and ScreenTonic by Microsoft, as signs of a coming mobile ad boom.

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