Mobile advertising is a young and relatively small market today. But over the next five years, spending on mobile display ads in the United States, estimated at just under $313 million today, will almost quadruple to exceed $1.2 billion in 2015, according to research from ABI entitled "Mobile Ad Spending."

ABI Research practice director Neil Strother said in a statement: “A survey conducted by ABI Research in February found that 28 percent of the mobile subscribers queried accessed the mobile Internet daily. This is a huge increase over the number doing so just 14 months ago, and is a powerful driver for the mobile marketing and advertising market.”

Mobile display ads – essentially similar to online banner ads – are only one method available to aspiring mobile marketers. The others are:

  • Text messaging
  • Search advertising
  • Ads within applications (in-app)
  • Video (streaming and on-demand)

While smartphone usage is a primary driver of this new and still fragmented industry (smartphone penetration in the United States currently stands at about 20 percent), mobile marketing’s potential extends to mobile devices of all kinds.

“Marketers have increasingly been shifting budgets into mobile campaigns,” Strother said. “This became evident during our research interviews with advertising agency executives, technology vendors and mobile ad network operators, who said they have been seeing year-over-year increases of 25 percent to 30 percent in campaign spending.”

Big technology firms are now getting involved, as demonstrated by Apple’s acquisition of Quattro Wireless and Google’s takeover of AdMob. But independent ad networks are also serving this market, companies such as Millennial Media, Jumptap, and Greystripe. “Each of these networks is focused on a somewhat different part of the market,” said Strother, “but in principal they’re open to anybody with money who wants to reach a mobile audience.”

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