Alongside the rapid growth of the smartphone market, mobile advertising is growing at an equivalent rate. It is proving to be very effective and the main way of distributing mobile ads is through mobile apps.
Recent analysis suggests that during 2012 investment by advertisers in advertising in apps will exceed that in ads that appear on static websites. In addition, the expansion in smartphone sales means that in 2014 the number of smartphones in use will be greater than the number of desktop PCs and televisions. As 4G mobile data services are rolled out over the next few years, it is expected that the number mobile internet users with become greater than the number of users who access the internet from their desktops.
Already in 2012, between January and March there was a 21% increase on the previous quarter in the number of ads that were viewed by mobile phone users. During the first 3 months of 2012 there were 9.6 billion impressions just within the UK.
The share of impressions between the five highest performing handsets in terms of impressions breaks down as 26.7% on the Apple iPhone, 11.9% on the Apple iPad, 5.6% on the RIM Blackberry 8520 and 4.4% in the Samsung galaxy SII.
Looking at the individual handset manufacturers, 40% of total impressions were on Apple manufactured smartphones and tablets, 17% on RIM devices, 14% on Samsung devices, 9% on HTC smartphones, and 6% on Nokia phones.
In terms of operating systems the highest number of impressions was on 1)S which accounted for 45.7%. and interestingly the second highest share of impressions was on Android operating systems with 26.1%. RIM coming a close third with 16.7%; however iOS has lost market share since the previous quarter and the percentage of impressions is down by 2.7% whilst Android is up by 4%. With the recent announcement that Samsung Android phones are now outselling the iPhone expect this trend to continue at a more rapid pace.
A similar pattern can be seen throughout Europe, where the total number of impressions during the first quarter of 2012 was 36.8 billion. The United Kingdom is the market leader in mobile ads with a 20% share of the total number of impressions. Spain is next with 13.4% followed by the Netherlands with 9.6%, France with 9%, and Germany with 7.6% and Italy with 4.9%, though Italy is showing the fastest rate of growth.
In North America the pattern is also much the same in terms of distribution across devices and operating systems. The total number of impressions for the first quarter of 2012 was 52.6 billion.
There are also significant changes occurring in the type of mobile ads. Rich media ads are proving to be significantly more effective than standard display ads and will soon dominate the market.
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