Mobile ad spend grows 116%

Mobile ad spend grew 116% year-on-year to hit £83m in 2010, according to research carried out by the IAB and accountancy firm PriceWaterhouseCooper (PwC).


Search commanded the largest share of total mobile spend (66%) in the survey increasing by 172% from £20.2m in 2009 to £54.9m in 2010.

Search’s growth ate into display advertising’s share, which slipped from 39% to 29% year-on-year, despite spend increasing by 61% from £17.4m to £28.1m.

Meanwhile, pre-and post-roll video ads for mobile were the single-biggest category to grow having increased by 492% year-on-year to hit £1.1m in 2010.

The top five display advertising categories were entertainment and media, accounting for 32.9% of spend compared to 61.5% in 2009, followed by finance with 18.6% (8.1% in 2009), telecoms with 14.3% (14.7% in 2009), consumer goods with 11.8% (3.2% in 2009) and automotive with 6.5% (2.5% in 2009).

Jon Mew, IAB director of mobile and operations, says the rise was driven by increased smartphone ownership and people using their smartphones in conjunction with other media.

“We now have nearly 20m mobile internet users in the UK and advertisers are just following the eyeballs.

“Search continues to be the most popular format with mobile advertisers as people are now using their smartphones to do things like search for items when they are watching TV,” he adds.

The study also revealed that mobile saw the biggest increase in online spend of any digital medium, in terms of percentages, during the surveyed period.

Anna Bartz, PwC strategy manager, says: “We are witnessing patterns of growth similar to online advertising in its early stages.

“Increasing technology packed into handsets coupled with decreasing costs, presents brands with a tempting opportunity to target mobile consumers.”

This story first appeared on

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