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U.S. Brands Spend $1.23 Billion on Mobile Ads in 2011

 
I'm not who you think I am. Yes, I write about the very latest mobile device technology and the growth of mobile internet usage. But I don't use my mobile phone to send text messages or to access the internet -- it's just for making and receiving voice calls.

Truly, I've yet to find the one application that convinces me that I "personally" really need a smartphone. Very soon, that scenario will make me part of a rapidly shrinking segment within the American consumer population.

By the end of this year, eMarketer estimates that 38 percent of U.S. mobile users will have a smartphone and 41 percent will use the mobile internet at least once each month. According to their latest assessment, that adoption translates into an increase in the opportunity for mobile advertising -- and more ad spending.

Frankly, if there's anything that's sure to dissuade me from joining the ranks of smartphone users, it's the thought of being subjected to the unimaginative advertising that's produced for most U.S. brands. I gave up watching broadcast TV because I simply couldn't tolerate the advertising. But I digress...

eMarketer forecasts that advertisers will spend nearly $1.23 billion on mobile advertising this year in the U.S. -- that's up from $743 million last year and set to reach almost $4.4 billion by 2015. This growth includes spending on display ads (such as banners, rich media and video), search and messaging-based advertising, and counts all ads viewed on mobile phones and media tablets.

This year, messaging-based ad formats still take the largest piece of the advertising spend, accounting for $442.6 million.

But in 2012, banners and rich media will be even with search -- each getting 33 percent of spending, or $594.8 million. That will put them both ahead of messaging, which will fall to just 28.2 percent of all mobile ad spending next year.

By 2015, banners and rich media and search will truly dominate, and messaging will have shrunk to 14.4 percent of the total -- though still growing in terms of revenue. Apparently, video is the fastest-growing mobile advertising format, but from the smallest base.

Mobile video ad spending, at $57.6 million this year, will grow at a compound annual rate of 69 percent between 2010 and 2015 -- to reach $395.6 million.

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