Advertising spend on mobile devices hit a new high of £203.2m in 2011, a year-on-year growth of 157 per cent!

This is according to an annual study from the IAB and PwC.So it comes from a rather good source 🙂 Which is great news for all of us working in #mobile and maybe just the right time to think about how mobile will the leading force in marketing in the years to come….

Display advertising on mobiles has more than doubled year on year, increasing by 186% to £68.9m, with market share remaining steady from 2010, at 34 per cent. 54 per cent of that display advertising was on apps. The growth of display advertising has largely been driven by standard formats, such as banners and text links – up 196 per cent, to £59.4m – but video advertising has quadrupled, to a total £0.8m. “2011 was a good year for the UK mobile ad ecosystem, and we saw innovations in the space ranging from rich media creative to targeting capabilities,” says Gavin Stirrat, MD EMEA at mobile ad network Millennial Media. “Brands and agencies across the UK have recognized the unique opportunities mobile presents them to reach and engage consumers, and as a result, they are dedicating more of their ad spend to mobile display – as the IAB numbers reflect.”

The report shows more advertising in more ‘mainstream’ verticals taking a larger share of spend – the market share of entertainment and the media has decreased from 32.9 per cent in 2010 to 23.2 per cent, but telecoms, FMCG and retail have all increased.Which is even more exciting as the mainstream start to GET the idea – this is where the ecoystem can start to sustain even more leftfield ideas perhaps like augmented reality PPC?

Paul Childs, co-founder and CMO of mobile ad network Adfonic, thinks that spread is key to the continued success of mobile advertising. “What’s driving this growth is spend across many more verticals, which is beginning to come in line with online ads, as the number of brands opening up to mobile increases significantly” says Childs. “It’s also driven by a lot of performance campaigns, and rich media, which is moving from a niche to a mass market offering. A lot of brands see rich media as an opportunity to expand, and move beyond the banner – it gives agencies the ability to flex their creative muscles.” The research also included tablet-specific advertising for the first time, and found that £2.4 million was spent in 2011. “This study proves just how engrained mobile has become within both brands’ and consumers’ day-to-day lives,” says Jon Mew, director of mobile and operations at the IAB. “With 26m smartphone owners now in the UK, the opportunities for brands to interact with consumers in a more innovative and relevant way are endless. So it’s no surprise to see mobile advertising continuing to grow at such an overwhelming and encouraging rate.”

Limvirak Chea, director, business development, at InMobi sees links between this growth and InMobi’s own research showing increasing reliance on mobile. “Mobile devices are redefining the media landscape across the world,” says Chea. @We will continue to see these trends rapidly accelerate in 2012 as consumers rely ever more heavily on their mobile device. Advertisers are now on board with this trend and we expect to see strong innovation in this space as consumers spend more time on mobile devices and less on PCs.”

The IAB and PwC have been working together since 1997 to survey the value of the online advertising market. This is the fourth time they have collaborated to find out the size of UK mobile advertising, with 28 companies participating in the survey, representing thousands of mobile sites and apps.

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