UK Mobile Ad Spend Grows 132% in First Half 2012

October 11, 2012 Source: IAB UK

While the latest Internet Advertising Bureau UK report highlighted a 12.6% increase in overall digital ad spend for the first half of 2012, the more impressive numbers were buried in the mobile section: UK mobile advertising grew by 132% in the first six months of this year, with mobile search leaping to £132 million in revenue and mobile display, video, MMS, etc. hitting £50 million – a growth of 90% year-over year. To give you some perspective, the IAB pegged 2011 mobile ad spend at £203 million; that figure is estimated to top £500 million in 2012.

Some of this increased mobile spend is simply about more inventory – in June comScore and MobiLens put smartphone adoption in the UK at 60% of adult population. And Tim Elkington, Director of Research & Strategy at the IAB, notes further growth is highly likely.

"60% of the UK’s 100 biggest advertisers still don’t have a mobile-optimised website yet consumers spend almost 70% longer on sites which are," he said. "If all advertisers get wise to this, we’re likely to see significant mobile growth for some time yet.”

In addition, while Enders Analysis estimates Facebook's 2012 UK revenue to hit $236 million in 2012, that's without a mobile ad strategy, something the company is developing and which anaylsts believe will completely transform the mobile ad market.

"The £500m mark is just the start," Initials Marketing Chief Executive Jamie Matthews told The Guardian. "Facebook is racing to develop a mobile ad strategy to tap into its 550 million monthly mobile users, and more than half of big companies do not yet have a coherent mobile marketing strategy. I would expect mobile advertising to continue to grow at a staggering rate for some years yet."

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