UK mobile advertising grew by 116% in 2010


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Mobile advertising spend grew by 116% over the last year to hit £83m

According to research carried out by the IAB and accountancy firm PriceWaterhouseCooper (PwC) advertising spend increased by over 100%, and although a 116% increase is a lot, it’s not what we expected considering the growth in smartphone handsets.

Search commanded the largest share of total mobile spend (66%) in the survey increasing by 172% from £20.2m in 2009 to £54.9m in 2010.

Because of the huge rise in search, display advertising actually lost over the year with a fall from 39% to 29% of the total mobile advertising spend, despite actual spending increasing by 61% from £17.4m to £28.1m.

Video was the star performer in mobile sales with pre-and post-roll video ads accounting for £1.1 million and increase of 492% year-on-year.

The top five display advertising categories were entertainment and media, accounting for 32.9% of spend compared to 61.5% in 2009, followed by finance with 18.6% (8.1% in 2009), telecoms with 14.3% (14.7% in 2009), consumer goods with 11.8% (3.2% in 2009) and automotive with 6.5% (2.5% in 2009).

Jon Mew, IAB director of mobile and operations, says the rise was driven by increased smartphone ownership and people using their smartphones in conjunction with other media.

“We now have nearly 20m mobile internet users in the UK and advertisers are just following the eyeballs.

“Search continues to be the most popular format with mobile advertisers as people are now using their smartphones to do things like search for items when they are watching TV,” he adds.

The study also revealed that mobile saw the biggest increase in online spend of any digital medium, in terms of percentages, during the surveyed period.

Anna Bartz, PwC strategy manager, says: “We are witnessing patterns of growth similar to online advertising in its early stages.

“Increasing technology packed into handsets coupled with decreasing costs, presents brands with a tempting opportunity to target mobile consumers.”

For a full run down of the IAB report see the IAB report findings page