South Africa to see R1 Billion Mobile Ad Revenue in 2012

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According to recent reports global mobile advertising spend is expected to grow +50% annually, from $12.6bn in 2011 to $41.8bn by 2015. Display advertising is the biggest format in the mix currently making up $6.8bn, followed by Mobile Search $3bn and In-app advertising 3rd with $2.2bn. The remaining spend is made up of Messaging, Streaming Music, Mobile TV and Mobile Video.

In South Africa mobile messaging ads lead the way, followed by display and in-app formats. 35 million branded Please Call Me messages are sent out daily and currently we are seeing 1.6 billion impressions served annually in South Africa. The typical global mobile browsing session involve 5-8 mobile websites.

In countries like South Africa and BRIC countries Brazil, Russia, India and China, mobile is considered the primary screen, as opposed to in the US and Western Europe where it is viewed as merely an extension of the web. In China the growth rate for mobile ads is more than double that of the United States.

In emerging markets, mobile is the primary means to the internet. This, together with cheaper data rates and more affordable smart phones, is considered to be the main driving force of its phenomenal growth in South Africa. The countryโ€™s low internet connectivity penetration (10%) and high broadband costs will further drive consumers to mobile.

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Vodacom, MXit and Google, hosts of the Mobile Media Mindblast conference predict that mobile marketing and advertising spend in South Africa will grow to R1billion by 2012.

Mobile ad revenues in South Africa totaled approximately R500m in the last year. Year on year growth trends indicate that this figure will double by 2012. Estimates on mobile ad spend include display, search and message-based ads.

Jason Probert, Head of Vodacom Mobile Media says: โ€œPrevious estimates have dramatically underestimated the size of the mobile advertising industry as they focused on reports submitted to the DMMA by online publishers. When you take into account the entire mobile advertising ecosystem and include mobile ad networks like AdMob, operator services like Apple, mobile search and social networks like MXit, the picture is dramatically different”

Juan du Toit, head of international business development and marketing for MXit, believes that South Africa will see substantial growth in media performance on mobile platforms this year and in 2012.

โ€œThe way that consumers interact with brands is evolving rapidly. Media strategists know that mobile media campaigns deepen the engagement and relevance of brands within their target markets. One of MXitโ€™s core strengths to an advertiser is our ability to create and grow communities of loyal brand consumers and activists, which, in turn, offers an intriguing and difficult-to-ignore value proposition for the South African marketing industry.โ€

The Mobile Media Mindblast conference takes place in Cape Town on the 3rd of June 2011. Renowned international speaker Joseph Jaffe will explore the aggressive mobile growth trends and focus on what this means for brands and marketers in the South African marketing context.

In addition, speakers will provide guidance on how brands and marketers can harness this growth and shed light on successful mobile marketing tactics to reach the target audience. Topics will include the latest on mobile social networking, the advantages of permission-based mobile messaging and the benefits of marketing through local search. A panel discussion will feature successful mobile case studies by leading South African brands and agencies.

Head of Google Mobile, Brett St.Claire says: โ€œWeโ€™ve had a fantastic response since we announced the conference a few weeks back and weโ€™re almost booked to capacity from both the brands and agency sides. The popularity of Mobile Media Mindblast is a testament that marketers feel that they can no longer ignore mobileโ€™s aggressive growth and that they need to learn more about this space and.โ€

Looking forward to Mobile Media Mindblast. It’s going to be Mind Blasting! Whoever came up with the name for this conference must be a Russell Peters fan.

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