Could the fourth quarter signal the elusive "year of mobile" is upon us?
Mobile ad companies continue to report strong growth - thanks largely to the continued proliferation of smartphone devices - leading some to suggest 2010 may be the closest the U.S. digital marketing industry will get to the elusive "year of mobile."
According to Michael Chang, CEO of mobile ad network Greystripe, his company is forecasting a 600 percent increase in revenue in the fourth quarter of this year, compared to the same period in 2009. "We are seeing unprecedented demand firsthand and believe this is an industry-wide trend that will continue into 2011 and beyond," he predicted.
According to Dane Holewinski, Greystripe's director of marketing, much of that growth has been driven by increased spend from advertisers in the retail, CPG, automotive, and consumer electronics verticals. "While automotive has been an early adopter, we are seeing a huge increase in interest from this vertical in terms of number of brands and size of campaigns," he told ClickZ.
Meanwhile, rival ad network Millennial Media is also reporting growth, especially in ads served to devices running on Google's Android operating system. In September, the firm said it generated more revenue from Android than it did iPhone devices, thanks to increased advertiser demand for that inventory. "We saw higher average fill rates, click-through rates and prices on Android applications and mobile web inventory than on iPhone inventory last month," Michael Avon, Millennial's EVP and CFO wrote on the company blog this week.
Avon points out, however, that those numbers account only for iPhone devices, and not all Apple devices running the iOS operating system, which continues to see growth across its network. Revenue generated from ads served to the iPad, for example, grew 316 percent during the third quarter.
Greystripe says it's seen similar activity, with an increasing number of advertisers now buying inventory across multiple platforms. So far this month, the firm says 75 percent of its clients have bought ads across at least two, with iPhone and Android proving the most popular.
Millennial adds that growth on its network is not limited to Apple and Android devices, with BlackBerry also enjoying an increase in September. Avon said the company also expects Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7 platform to capture a share of the market when handsets running the OS hit U.S. shelves next month.
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Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011.
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