Mobile ads to double in 2011, says Gartner

Growth in smartphones, tablets prompts ad spurt

Many mobile users say they don't like advertising on their smartphones and tablets, but it is having an upsurge, with revenues in 2011 expected to double over last year, according to a new Gartner forecast.

For all of 2011, mobile ad revenue is expected to hit $3.3 billion, more than than double the $1.6 billion earned in 2010, the market research firm said.

The forecast goes through 2015, when global mobile revenues are expected to hit $20.6 billion, Gartner said.

Video and audio mobile ads are the fastest growing segment, while ads associated with search and maps will deliver the highest revenue. The ad revenues are what product makers, advertisers and publishers spend on the ads, not how much ads result in purchases.

Mobile ads can be targeted to where a person is located, such as near a store, and in other ways. As such, they are seen as growing from 0.5% of the total advertising budget globally in 2010 to 4% in 2015. The growth is driven by the vast number of smartphones and tablets being sold.

Japan and the Asia/Pacific markets lead the globe and will continue to do so through 2015, Gartner said, although the fastest pace of growth will be in North America and Western Europe through 2015.

In North America, mobile advertising revenue was $304 million in 2010, and is expected to reach nearly $702 million in 2011, then soar to nearly $5.8 billion in 2015.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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