Top 10 Predictions for Mobile Advertising in 2009

It is that time of the year again  and here are our Top 10 predictions for mobile advertising in 2009

1) mobile advertising spending will grow but this is not expected to completely stabilize. This has a few implications..VC funded ad players will go through a spending binge to justify their investment and to grow their base but will see lesser ROI. This also means players like Google and Yahoo who are much larger on the web will still maintain a low profile until probably the end of 2009.

2) Globally, Android devices might add to the hype, iPhone could be the global #2 or #3 on most networks & Nokia will still lead most developing countries including India.

3) More players are expected to enter mobile advertising in 2009

4) Global rates for mobile advertising will continue to grow after some brief fall due to the economic crises. This is because low rates are clearly not sustainable for anyone and an average of $0.10 – $0.20 per click will be the norm for most developed markets

5) Many advertisers will still be trying out mobile advertising through 2009. Although 2008 did see some significant activity, actual campaigns and revenues were still too low in 2008.

6) One or two players in this space might be the right targets for acquisitions so expect acquisitions especially when valuations are right now at an all time low. So expect acquisitions in 09.

7) Mobile search might add significant traction, traffic to carrier ARPUs and mobile advertising through 2009

8 ) Expect Mobile advertising services to move beyond the regular self serve model. Advertisers are expecting more and the small budget advertisers will expect 360 degree service from mobile advertisers..leading some mobile ad companies to move up the value chain.

9) Developing markets like India / Indonesia will continue to grow in terms of real volumes of traffic with carriers like Airtel / Vodafone significantly gaining on that [especially in India].

10) Carriers will continue to try to experiment with mobile search and mobile advertising but will increasingly be insignificant or probably play a much more passive role in the global mobile advertising value chain.

Some of our past predictions and those that were right and those that were wrong..Most of these were centred around India..

Social mobile marketing will be big in 08 – we were wrong on this..although social media traffic has grown…the large chunk of social media traffic is still not made a big dent on the mobile advertising space as such.

SMS will continue to generate substantial traffic. WAP traffic as always is underestimated but will continue to surge with more users expected to logon to the mobile Internet. – We  were absolutely right on this…

Major web portals will unveil their mobile portals. – we were spot on on this prediction

– Players like Vodafone could shakeout the mobile data business offering cheaper data access to consumers. Wireless data could get more affordable — we were partly right..Vodafone has got great advertisements but a lousy product portfolio in India..Innovation is not a part of their strategy yet and they’re loosing to Airtel. Though the bright side is wireless data plans are now more affordable.

Many innovative mobile VAS applications will be launched free of cost to the consumer powered through mobile advertising. Mobile publishers will begin to take mobile advertising as a serious alternative business model – we were quite correct with this prediction, a number of mobile services (free sms, alerts etc) and apps have been launched last year especially in India and these have significantly increased users traffic usage / ARPUs etc..

More and more advertisers will begin to test mobile as a medium for marketing. Mobile will get acceptance as the third and more powerful medium than the web. Despite that, we don’t really expect to see drastic shift in the allocation of marketing budgets just yet – we were spot on on advertising has taken off but on the overall spending has been slow.

Premium rates for mobile content and mobile services will continue to drop – 10/10 for this prediction…again…premium content rates are continuing to drop across the world.

Several small and medium VAS players will move into mobile advertising – we were spot on with this prediction., several new smaller players have moved into mobile advertising and the herd mentality will continue to exist until there is a shakeout..


7 thoughts on “Top 10 Predictions for Mobile Advertising in 2009

  1. As you well say you must have a solid business models and services that could generate revenues. The current problem is most companies try to copy known advertising models to the mobile world without success. I beleive the winning model will have a mix of old fashion and new-tech types of media.

    I addressed this point in one of my post today regarding business models for Location Based Social Networking @

  2. I see lots of new web portals ( .mobi) being built for both social and corporate functions, but as the dust settles, only products with robust, mature BUSINESS MODELS will remain.

    I see the winners as those who can replicate their mobile products into diverse global markets.

  3. Awesome post. Agreed.
    The only thing I want to mention – SMS is a great traffic generator, but mostly in emerging markets. Developed markets will mostly generate traffic via WiFi & EDGE due to good bandwidth.

  4. It’s all very well, but mobile advertising needs to grow beyond the idea of internet advertising on mobile. Hopefully 2009 will be the year the industries understand how this could look.

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