Mobile ads are booming, with more sales and more investment

UK media outlets have more than doubled their take from mobile advertising over the last year.

Half-year mobile ads revenue boomed by 132 percent year-on-year to £181.5 million ($290 million), comprising seven percent of all digital advertising outlay, according to new figures from PwC for Internet Advertising Bureau.

Sales from display, video, SMS and MMS advertising on mobiles grew by 91% to almost £50 million, whilst those from mobile search grew by 152 percent to £131.6 million.

That means, just like on the desktop web, search ads, make up the majority of ad spending (72 percent).

Underlining the growth, more investment was announced in mobile advertising firms over the last couple of days…

  • Location-aware click-to-call advertising facilitator Freespee is taking €3.3 million ($4.2 million) from Sunstone Capital, Inventure and others to expand its London HQ and Uppsala, Sweden, development centre.
  • Just yesterday, Samba Mobile, which gives users free mobile SIM or dongle credit on the 3 network in exchange for watching video ads, raised a second angel investment round, bringing its total to almost £1 million ($1.6 million).

Taken together, the rise in mobile advertising may suggest a slightly more free future for consumer mobile content.

Mobile is growing up in several facets of business. A fifth of UK and US  human resources managers plan to create mobile-specific roles in the next year, according to a new poll of 600 HR managers by Lightspeed Research. A third of companies polled currently have mobile specialists.

Methodology: The PwC/IAB figures were collected from over 100 media or advertising companies which reported their advertising figures.