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It's been the year of mobile for about a decade now. But thanks to the iPhone (and other smartphones), it looks like mobile advertising is set to make some actual progress this year.
According to new study by Gartner, mobile ad spending worldwide will grow 74% this year to $913.5 million but not really accelerate until 2011, when advertisers are expected to commit to mobile as part of the digital shift in the ad market.
And what is bringing in the most money in mobile so far? The dreaded banner ad.
Banner ads may not work online, but they're one of many formats that are succeeding in mobile.
According to Gartner's report, titled "Mobile Advertising Grows Quietly":
"The growth in mobile advertising revenues is primarily driven by mobile Web banner ads, but it also has a strong growth component from mobile search, downloadable applications and SMS advertising."
By the end of this year, the mobile ad market is expected to grow to $913.5 million. And by 2013, the research firm expects mobile ad spending to surpass $13 billion, with the Asia-Pacific region bringing in the most revenue, followed by North America and Europe.
The increased adoption of smartphones is helping to accelerate the growth of mobile ads, as technology gets easier to use and consumers become more comfortable using their phones for more purposes. From the report:
"GPS-aware apps now provide a much simpler and more cost-effective means of achieving location targeting, while lowering the risks of consumer backlash."
Because of the increase of location aware applications, Gartner is bullish on Yelp and Citisearch, saying that media companies will
either have to develop — or acquire — local directory services to take full advantage of location-based advertising in mobile.
Gartner expects smartphones to account for 45.5% of all mobile phone sales in 2013, up from about 9% in 2008. And the increase of smartphone usage is rising the tide of all mobile technology.
Gartner analyst Andrew Frank tells MediaPost that that increased usage of mobile media is leading Web publishers to create more versatile versions of their mobile sites, "which in turn is lifting mobile Web access among non-smartphone users."