At present, the mobile advertising market in Australia is very much in its infancy with total revenues reaching just $2.5 million in 2007.
Click to enlarge
However, according to one study, this figure is set to grow more than 300 per cent in 2008 to about $10 million and be sustained into next year driven by the growing consumer take-up of 3G data services coupled with attractive campaign pricing to entice advertisers.
The Australia Next-Generation Mobile Advertising Market 2007-2011 study from Frost & Sullivan found that sustained growth of mobile advertising into 2009 will depend on a continued reduction in mobile operator data charges, the development of sophisticated mobile advertising offerings from more organisations, and enhanced technological capabilities and integration across the mobile advertising value chain.
At the same time, continued uncertainty about the mobile advertising medium among advertisers is still restraining its popularity. The study found that mobile advertising spend currently is mainly driven by the media and entertainment, and banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) industries which together contributed more than 50 per cent of revenues in 2007.
Currently, the bulk of mobile advertising spend is based on campaign trials in partnership with mobile carriers and content publishers.
This is concentrated in display (banners and video) accounting for 91 per cent of total revenues. And concurrently, search advertising on mobile phones remains very low, with most consumer activity still concentrated in the free-to-access, on-deck directories within carrier portals, said Frost & Sullivan.
Early leaders in the mobile advertising space, including Vodafone, Hutchison 3, Sensis MediaSmart, ninemsn and Fairfax Digital have now reached a stage where they can offer marketers a proven next-generation mobile proposition. Vodafone for its part had some 40 per cent of the market share in 2007.
In addition, the number of 3G handset subscribers is expected to mushroom with the corresponding adoption of mobile data services.
Frost & Sullivan estimates there are now more than six million 3G handset subscribers in Australia and this will grow rapidly over the next two years as operators phase out their non-3G handset offerings.
Furthermore, Apple’s iPhone is also expected to have very strong impact in the usage of mobile data services.
Finally, the study found that early success by advertisers deploying mobile advertising in their marketing mix, particularly with SMS/MMS broadcast and response campaigns, is driving further take-up and experimentation.