Google grabs majority of US mobile search revenue

Google will end 2010 with a 59% share of the $877 million US mobile advertising market, according to a new report from IDC.

The US mobile-ad market, including search and display ads, has more than doubled since last year, when it reached $368 million in sales. IDC attributes the growth to companies devoting larger slices of ad budgets to mobile as more consumers and businesses get online via smartphones and other handheld devices.

“Advertisers have embraced this in a big way,” says Karsten Weide, a vice-president at IDC. “They think it’s a great marketing tool; they are flocking to it. The infrastructure and the audience are finally there to make this worthwhile.”

The mobile-ad market may more than double again next year, to almost $2 billion, IDC says. The firm believes that while marketers spend just 3% of their online ad dollars on mobile today, the proportion will increase to 5% next year.

Apple in second place

IDC has Apple taking the second biggest share of the US market with 8.4%, followed by Millennial Media with 6.8%, followed closely by Yahoo (5.6%) and Microsoft (4.3%), but they’ve lost significant share to Google, Apple and Millennial, they took a 7% and 6.3% share respectively in 2009.

Google is making more headway in mobile ads than IDC estimated earlier this year, when it said Apple may end the year with 21% of the market and that Google would lose ground.

“Google is a lot bigger than we thought,” says VP Weide. “We rectified that, based on the numbers they provided in their last earnings call.”

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