Middle East mobile advertisers are increasingly on the hunt for new revenue streams. They are looking at location-based mobile advertising as a means to tap the region’s boom in smartphone use, as well as the rise in popularity of applications that alert users of discounts and offers at their favourite shops and restaurants.
The attraction for telecom firms is clear-a Middle East mobile advertising market that consultancy Booz & Co expects to more-than-triple in value to $400mn by 2014. Informa Telecoms & Media is even more bullish, projecting the market to grow to about $725mn by the same year.
These figures certainly force an idea upon all of us that in times to come Mobile advertising will dominate the media marketing palette.
In a recent report, Derek Thompson showed that consumers are spending 10% of their media attention on their mobile devices while the medium only commands a mere 1% of total ad-spend. Comparatively, the quickly "dying" print medium attracts only about 7% of media-time, but still captures an astonishing 25% of the total U.S. ad-spend, with print receiving 25-times more ad money than mobile.
According to The Atlantic, following are the potential reasons for mobile as a medium to rule the roost of Advertising in coming years.
1. The diversity of tactics in the mobile medium is astounding.
2. The quality of the work is at an all-time high.
3. Innovation has accelerated.
4. Experimentation leads to advances.
5. Cultural Influence on society.
6. It's Still Only the First Inning.
Despite mobile's progress and momentum, the medium is still in its initial stage. There is still a huge gap between the rapid adoption of mobile and the budgets assigned to it. Brands will need to more than quadruple their mobile budgets to begin catching up to the level at which consumers are embracing the channel. Statistics also show that globally "dumb-phone" users still outnumber smartphone users 5.6 billion to 835 million, meaning that the "upgrade cycle" to smartphones is still in the early stages.
More than 2/3 of our time on mobile phones is now used for non-communication activities with the average American spending 94 minutes per day utilizing mobile apps vs. 72 minutes of web-based consumption. Mobile is poised to surpass television as the dominant consumer access point for all media.
At the heart of this industry optimism is the surge in popularity of smartphones as consumers look for technology that allows them to stay plugged into the internet for longer, and regardless of location. The penetration of smartphone use in the Middle East is expected to increase to 28.8% of total handset sales by 2015, according to a Value Partners report, while investment bank Merrill Lynch forecasts mobile phones to overtake personal computer use as the most common web access device worldwide by 2013.