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Major Boom Forecast for Mobile Device Advertising

In 2010, nearly $2 billion was spent by marketers on mobile advertising. In 2012, according to the latest market study by ABI Research, that figure will be more than $7 billion.

And by 2016, their forecasts suggest that as much marketing budget -- approximately $24 billion -- will be spent on mobile advertising as is currently spent on all online advertising put together.

"ABI Research forecast clearly indicate a major boom in mobile advertising is on the way," says practice director Neil Strother.

All the pieces are falling into place: the technology, the behavior and the funding (advertiser spending) is following.

Today mobile marketing spend is still relatively tiny, by online standards -- often just 2 or 3 percent of a marketer's overall advertising budget -- but spending on mobile ads will accelerate and grow.

What has changed? Mobile marketing is truly considered promising, but the pool of potential viewers and readers has been relatively small -- especially for display ads, interactive ads, and ads using rich media.

But two related developments have changed that.

The first is the explosion in use of mobile smartphones and other smart devices such as media tablets. The second is the proliferation of mobile applications that can include or drive mobile advertising consumption.

These applications can be related to a wide variety of activities including media content and games, but also services accessed through the mobile web browser.

The result, says Strother, is that "The population of people who access content or media or services that are ad-supported is now big enough to create a critical mass."

This story has concentrated on the higher end of mobile advertising; lower-tech forms such as text message-based advertising are still viable and useful, but content publishing sites will charge more for display, interactive or rich media ads.

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