Mobile Advertising Not Exactly Taking Off

    December 13, 2007

We’ve reached the point at which the average person is sure to own a cell phone.  He or she still isn’t too likely to surf the Web with it, however, and he or she is almost definitely opposed to mobile advertising.  All of which points to the conclusion that mobile ads won’t take off in the way proponents have predicted.

At times, one gets the feeling that people are just throwing numbers out like Mike Myers’s Dr. Evil.  The words “$14.4 billion in 2011?  That sounds nice and impressive” might well have been uttered at a Strategic Analytics staff meeting when the mobile market came up.

Mike BakerGartner, for its part, seems to have thought $11 billion in global revenue (in 2011) sounded more reasonable.  But in an interview with Mike Baker, Olga Kharif found that Nokia’s vice president in charge of ads thought it might be 2012 before the industry hits the $10 billion mark.  “The near-term visibility is cloudy,” he admitted.

Alan Patrick puts mobile advertising between $8 billion and $9 billion in 2011, which might be in line with Baker’s estimate.  Greg Sterling is even more cautious, forecasting $5.08 billion in 2012 (in North America and Europe).

So Google, Yahoo, AOL, and every other company eyeing the mobile market might want to play it safe.  The market’s much-discussed growth is not at all a sure thing.