August 1, 2012, 5:13 PM

U.S. is tops in mobile advertising spending

U.S. marketers this year will spend $2.3 billion on the tiny ads, eMarketer predicts.

Bill Siwicki

Managing Editor, Mobile Commerce

Lead Photo

This year, for the first time, the U.S. will spend more than any other country on mobile advertising, according to a new forecast from research firm eMarketer Inc. U.S. marketers in 2012 will spend $2.3 billion on the tiny ads that appear on mobile web sites, including paid search ads, and in mobile apps; this is an increase of 92% over $1.2 billion in 2011, eMarketer says.

Growth in the U.S. and other countries will help drive mobile ad spending worldwide to $6.4 billion in 2012, up 60% from $4.0 billion in 2011, eMarketer finds.

The top spender in 2011 was Japan, unleashing $1.4 billion on the mobile ad market, eMarketer says. Its spend will climb 21% to $1.7 billion in 2012. Mobile advertising is more mature in Japan, which means growth in percentage terms is far lower than in North American markets, eMarketer notes.

U.S. mobile ad spending will surpass $10.3 billion in 2016; global mobile ad spending will reach $23.6 billion the same year, eMarketer predicts.

“Mobile is an exciting, fast-growing category, but it’s still a very small piece of the overall ad pie,” eMarketer says. “Mobile advertising accounted for less than 1% of total ad spending worldwide last year—and it will be a long time before it challenges other mainstay global advertising channels like TV, print and Internet ads.”

Following are eMarketer’s estimates, in millions of dollars, of 2011 mobile ad spends, 2012 mobile ad spends, 2012 growth rates and 2016 mobile ad spends for various regions across the globe:

  • North America, $1,200, $2,400, 100%, $11,000
  • Western Europe, $800, $1,300, 63%, $6,700
  • Eastern Europe, $62, $120, 94%, $500
  • Asia-Pacific, $1,900, $2,600, 37%, $5,100
  • Latin America, $20, $50, 150%, $400
  • Middle East and Africa, $2, $3, 50%, $14

EMarketer forms its estimates for mobile advertising spending worldwide through an analysis of various elements related to the ad spending market, including macroeconomic conditions, historical trends of the advertising market, estimates from other research firms and consumer mobile usage trends.


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