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Over the last several months, we have discussed mobile web growth in a variety of regions (Germany, the Middle East, Asia) and touched on the growth of the industry in general by looking at Millennial Media’s S.M.A.R.T. report from Q1 of this year. Today I’d like to go back to a more general discussion on the growth of the mobile industry, because it continues to grow and thrive, even in an economic climate where many other industries are still struggling.
Everyone knows that numbers don’t lie, and there are plenty of numbers that show us that the mobile internet, which has been growing steadily for some time, will continue to expand over the upcoming months and years. The growing numbers of mobile usage and spend are shown to us time and again by research groups, large online companies, as well as other networks. A recent Mobile Marketing Watch article reports on Juniper Research’s study on mobile growth, showing, among other things, that revenues of global mobile networks operators will reach $1 trillion by 2016.
Other reports show similar findings – that is, of an industry that will continue to grow over the next few years. Mobile Marketer’s State of Mobile Advertising 2011, which has also just been released, further proves the growth trend in mobile and reveals some interesting facts about mobile device users. For instance, their findings report that roughly a quarter (26.6%) of US households rely solely on mobile phones, not landlines, for communication purposes. And of these users, around 63 million own a Smartphone, and over a third of these Smartphone users access the internet via their mobile devices.
Additionally, Mobile Marketer’s report reveals that advertisers will be spending a lot more cash on mobile advertising in the future. In the U.S. the mobile advertising spend for last year (2010) was around $7.4 million and is expected to be close to $2.5 billion by 2014. Spending for ads delivered via mobile apps in the U.S. will show similar growth patterns, increasing from $305 million in 2010 to over $1 billion by 2015.
Looking at this information, it is safe to say that we are in a field that will not be slowing down any time soon. Opportunities in mobile are endless, and we as a company are excited to be a part of it all.
For anyone out there who is still uncertain as to whether mobile is worth taking seriously, recent studies confirm that there is no need to doubt that the mobile web is indeed the future and not just a fad. We have already seen numbers showing that mobile is poised for growth (especially in the US), but recent studies are showing that the industry is still growing like crazy worldwide as well.
An Amazon payments executive recently announced that mobile commerce is expected to grow from $2.4 billion to $23.4 billion between now and 2015. This is an 875 per cent growth, which is significant, and is further proof (just in case anyone really needs it!) that mobile is going mainstream. The article reports that consumers are becoming more comfortable with accessing the web via mobile devices, and that they are now purchasing more than just virtual goods. Through Amazon’s 1-click payment system, the company is seeing things such as books, electronics, personal care items and clothing being purchased via mobile (Mobile Commerce Daily).
An executive from the footwear company Steve Madden confirmed these results, citing similar figures regarding the growth of mobile over the next five years. The executive announced at the Mobile Shopping Summit that more than 10% of the company’s total web traffic is coming from mobile devices, a 250 per cent growth over the last six months (Mobile Marketer). They have seen huge growth but have not been able to whittle down exactly who the mobile shopper is. According to the representative, there is no single mobile shopper – they are everyone – people who are busy, short on time, and who are looking for the best deals.
Further studies show that growth is happening right now and will continue into the future. ReadWriteMobile cites another study be Informa Telecoms & Media showing that mobile ad revenue will reach $3.5 billion by the end of this year alone. That study also reveals that the predictions by the Amazon exec mentioned earlier are right on track, with revenue increasing eight-fold by 2010 (ReadWriteMobile).
So once again we see that yes, mobile is here to stay and will continue to grow. The logical conclusion is therefore that retailers who want to continue to move into the future will need want to go mobile if they want to stay on top. Agreed?
Several months ago, Mobile Marketer mentioned a study by Frost & Sullivan that predicted a mobile broadband boom in Central and Eastern Europe, predicting that mobile broadband use would grow from 2% to 10% within the next five years. Another study by ABI Research reports similar findings. This study claims that the average revenue in the mobile market in both Eastern and Western Europe will grow by a rate of 1.7% over the next four years. Of course, not enough time has passed yet to know if these numbers are going to end up entirely accurate, but we do see that mobile web usage is growing, so our guess is that they will be close. Let’s explore some of the reasons why.
Central and Eastern European countries are still considered an emerging market, so the growth of the mobile web in these countries should not be a shocker. In any emerging market you will see certain sectors grow, and in these days, as mobile web usage is growing in areas all over the world, we see that CEE (central and eastern European) countries are no exception.
There are also more concrete reasons that explain the current (and predicted) mobile broadband growth. One is that there is a lack of solid infrastructure in many areas for traditional broadband, so mobile is often the only way to go. This would be particularly true in rural areas, according to Frost & Sullivan, as broadband penetration in such areas is still very limited. Mobile will likely fill the void.
Another interesting fact is that Eastern Europeans are already using mobile phones as much as Western Europeans (with a subscription penetration of 130 percent in both parts of Europe), so as smartphones and iphone usage increases, so too will mobile web use. Once again, this is a natural conclusion.