The same day, both the Kelsey Group and IAB Canada released ad revenue numbers forecast for the US and for Canada respectively. As you’ll see, if my US friends thought the mobile ad market was nascent in their country, they’ll be surprised by how insignificant it is in Canada (although it’s difficult to compare apple-to-apple as the IAB mostly covers 2006 and 2007 revenues).
First, highlights from the Kelsey numbers:
- U.S. Mobile Ad Revenues will grow from $160M in 2008 to $3.1B in 2013 (81.2% growth per year)
- U.S. Mobile Local Search Ad Revenues will grow from $20M in 2008 to $1.3B in 2013 (130.5% growth per year)
- The percentage of mobile searches that have local intent will increase from 28 percent in 2008 to 35 percent in 2013
- There are currently 54.5 million mobile Internet users in the United States, representing 25 percent of online users
- Approximately 15 percent of iPhone applications are local.
IAB Canada also released the results of their first “Mobile Advertising Revenue Survey/Report” covering the mobile Web market in Canada. Highlights:
- Revenues grew from $1.1 million in 2006 to $2.66 million in 2007 (or growth of 143% year-over-year).
- Standard SMS is by far, the dominant Mobile advertising vehicle generating almost $2 million (or 75%) of the total $2.66 in net revenue in 2007.
- Revenues are expected to almost double again in 2008, to $5.2 million.
- Mobile search revenues in Canada in 2007 were 0$ (!?!)
The IAB also asked mobile marketers what would be the expected challenges for the next 12 months. They mention:
- The small size of the Internet-enabled Mobile audience
- The constraints posed by the current Carrier/Provider business model
- The Low levels of Advertiser/Agency understanding and comfort with Mobile as a viable advertising medium
- The ability/need for Mobile marketers to demonstrate Mobile’s return on investment from the get-go.
What it means: we knew we had it bad in Canada in terms of the mobile ecosystem (expensive data plans, smart phones are just starting to arrive, etc.) but I didn’t think it was that bad. US mobile ad revenues for 2008 are expected to be 30 times higher than in Canada. And it’s really nothing compared to the revenues generated by the mobile telecommunications industry in Canada. According to StatCan, revenues of the wireless telecom segment in Canada totaled $12.8 billion in 2006 (thanks to Ianik Marcil for providing me the data source). Clearly, “thar’s gold in them thar hills” but we need better conditions for the ecosystem to thrive in the long term.