Mobile display advertising market is still small

By March 24, 2009Advertising, Mobile

The market for mobile display advertising is still small, according to eMarketer.  As of March last year their estimate was that the market size for 2008 would be $142m and for this year $338m.

It is a safe bet that between March last year and now those forecasts have come down.

This tells me that it will be very hard to build an ad-funded pure mobile play, even when the market picks up again.

I’ve always thought that for the majority of services an integrated web and mobile approach makes the most sense.  This data adds weight to that thesis.

  • It is true that the big pureplay successes on mobile (e.g. mobile game town in Japan or flirtomatic in UK, US, Europe) do seem to have some kind of consumer-payments driven revenue stream ($200m in the case of mobile game town).

    However, it's still early days for mobile advertising – which hardly existed three years ago. Landrover has just announced a massive $1m campaign on admob based on direct-response (brochures, test drives etc). Also once verticals like travel and finance start moving into mobile this will open up a new range of affiliate advertising revenues.

    Mocospace in the US claims to be doing $millions in annual mobile advertising revenues and there are new ad mangement platforms emerging e.g. ad marvel, ring ring media's publisher paltform which can dramatically increase inventory optimization and mobile ad revenues.

  • Thanks James. That is certainly a pretty big campaign from Landrover, and if there are many more like that these forecasts could turn out to be overly pessimistic.

  • colinbarnes

    Hi Nic, interesting view but I think your discounting the potential of innovation. For example, ring back advertising has the potential to deliver targeted, relevant content to users in a space that is unobtrusive and presently completely unused.

    Personally, I'm fed up of listening to those too monotonous tones, something more interesting and relevant would interest me ( with perhaps the potential for a few free minutes on my phone bill?)

  • Ringback ads are an interesting idea, and you are right there is more innovation to come in this space, but it will take time to make a difference to these numbers.

  • Ringback ads are an interesting idea, and you are right there is more innovation to come in this space, but it will take time to make a difference to these numbers.