UK mobile advertising grew a staggering 148% year-on-year in 2012

The growing popularity of smartphones and tablets and a huge rise in the use of apps caused mobile advertising in 2012 to almost triple to over £500m, as total UK digital ad spend hit £5bn for the first time.

Reported in the Guardian, UK mobile advertising grew a staggering 148% year-on-year in 2012 to £526m, up from £203m in 2011, with growth continuing to accelerate in the second half of last year.

The revolution in handheld devices – almost two-thirds of the UK population owns a smartphone – has had a massive effect on the ad market.

And created a whole new section of the computer gaming community which specilaises in mobile gaming. Companies like dojit, who make hand head games with heart, are now contributing to this new sector of industry – 75% of which produces independent games (on the iOS platform.)

Which is kinda cool, that in 2008, when Steve Jobs unveiled Apple‘s app store, an event which would accelerate the smartphone market and irrevocably change how people use phones, mobile advertising in the UK was a paltry £25m.

Mobile display and video advertising grew 121% to £150m in 2012, with mobile search soaring by 164% to £365m. Mobile search accounts for 69% of total mobile ad spend.

“There is simply so much buzz around mobile,” said Tim Elkington, director of research and strategy at the Internet Advertising Bureau. “Marketers are becoming more attune to the ‘always on’ nature of consumers who expect to engage with content wherever they are.”

In 2009 mobile accounted for just 1% of the total UK digital advertising market. Just three years later the 2012 figures show that it accounts for 10%.

Which is interesting as for clients of Great Marketing Works, across a number of sectors, the actual average traffic levels for web properties is more like 20 – 30%.

With the rapid rollout of 4G services, mobile operator EE has pledged to increase its network speed to a likely top rate of 80Mbps in 10 cities from this summer. This suggest mobile advertising may record another bumper year in 2013.

Social media advertising has also developed into a strong advertising medium, with spend up 24% to £328m, a fourfold increase in just three years.

Total UK internet advertising spend rose by 12.5% in 2012 to hit £5.42bn, a £607m increase over the total amount spent in 2011. The increase in the amount spent on mobile advertising last year accounted for 53% of the total £607m boost.

The total digital display advertising market, including mobile, rose 12.4% to £1.3bn. One of the biggest beneficiaries of the rise of the display ad market, albeit not on mobile yet, is Facebook.

The Google-dominated paid-for search market rose 14.5% to £3.17bn.

The rise of mobile ad spend in the UK

2008: Mobile ad spend £25m (total UK internet spend: £3.3bn)

2009: £37.6m (£3.5bn)

2010: £83m (£4.1bn)

2011: £203m (£4.8bn)

2012: £526m (£5.4bn)

Quite amazing!

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