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Mobile ad spend in Britain jumps 148pc as industry matures: IAB

In a reflection of how quickly mobile advertising is growing in Britain, mobile now accounts for 9.7 percent of all digital advertising spend compared to just 1.1 percent in 2009, according to a new report from the Internet Advertising Bureau UK.

With smartphone ownership reaching 64 percent of the British population, mobile advertising grew 148 percent in 2012 compared with 2011 for a total of 526 million pounds. The increase in mobile ad spend over 2011 represents 53 percent of the total digital ad spend increase for the year.

?There are a couple of important milestones from a mobile perspective,? said Alex Kozloff, head of mobile at IAB UK, London.

?Firstly, crossing the half billion pound mark is big news ? especially when we consider that only three short years ago in 2009 the market was 37.6m pounds ? an absolute increase of 1300 percent,? she said.

?Secondly, mobile now makes up 10 percent of the total digital spend in the UK. Both of these show the maturity of mobile as an advertising medium.?

Mobile video spend skyrockets
The increase in mobile advertising spend also reflects the significant amount of buzz around mobile right now.

In the past six months, an additional 20 top 100 British advertisers have come out with a mobile-optimized Web site.

Also helping mobile maintain significant momentum in attracting consumer attention and advertising spend is the growing availability of 4G mobile networks, which is enabling richer content consumption, as well as continued growth in tablet adoption, with tablets predicted to outsell PCs this year.

Overall, digital advertising spend in Britain increased 12.5 percent for a total of 5.42 billion pounds.

The spend on mobile video ads was up 1,601 percent in 2012 compared with 2011 for a total of 13 million pounds.

?Mobile video?s year-on-year growth of 1600 percent really stands out ? it had the strongest rate of growth of all the mobile display formats,? Ms. Kozloff said. ?We know consumer uptake of watching video on mobile is on the rise, so it?s fantastic to see the ad spend following those eyeballs on this scale.?

Time to consider mobile
Total mobile display advertising grew 121 percent for a total of 150 million pounds.

Mobile search grew 164 percent for a total of 365 million pounds, accounting for 69 percent of mobile ad spend.

The remaining mobile ad revenue is primarily accounted for by classifieds, SMS/MMS and other smaller advertising formats.

Across mobile display only, entertainment and media are the top spenders, accounting for 16 percent of mobile display only, followed by consumer goods with 13 percent, retail with 12 percent, finance with 12 percent and technology with 11 percent.

?The fact that mobile makes up 10 percent of the spend of one of the UK?s largest advertising medium - digital - is most certainly a call-to-action,? Ms. Kozloff said. ?Every brand should be considering a mobile strategy, and it?s important to start with the basics.

?A study we conducted of the top 100 advertisers in the UK revealed only 57 percent had a mobile-optimized site as of January 2013,? she said. ?This as an encouraging increase of 54 percent from six months earlier, but clearly there is still work to be done to persuade the remaining 43 percent of advertisers to take this medium seriously, as it is one they can no longer afford to ignore.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York