Ad networks’ dominance in mobile advertising is at an end

Facebook, Pandora and Twitter mobile ad sales soar, IDC says.

Bill Siwicki

Mobile site and app publishers including Facebook, Pandora and Twitter are rapidly taking over the mobile display advertising market in the U.S., according to new research from International Data Corp. In past years, ad networks including Google, Millennial Media and Apple received most of the spending on mobile display ads. Now publishers control the segment, thanks to very strong sales growth in the past year.

Facebook, Pandora, Twitter and The Weather Channel all registered strong mobile display ad sales in 2012 and all but Pandora popped onto the scene from zero sales in 2011, IDC says. As a result, publishers controlled 52% of U.S. mobile display ad spending in 2012, compared to the 39% they received in 2011, according to the IDC report, “2012 U.S. Mobile Advertising Market Sizing and Vendor Market Shares.”

“Mobile ad networks are losing market share to publishers, and we expect them to lose even more going forward,” says Karsten Weide, vice president of media and entertainment at IDC. “Networks, especially independent ones, are entering a difficult phase, in which, with an ever smaller share of revenue, they’ll have to compete with publishers, which will only grow in strength.”

The IDC U.S. mobile advertising report also finds:

More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional and local expertise on technology and trends in 110 countries, the firm says.


Facebook, IDC, International Data Corp., m-commerce, Millennial Media, Mobile, mobile ad network, mobile ads, mobile advertising, mobile commerce, Pandora, Twitter