/ 26 May 2011

SA mobile ad revenue R1-billion by 2012

Vodacom, MXit and Google have predicted that mobile marketing and advertising spend in South Africa will grow to R1-billion by 2012.

Mobile ad revenues in South Africa amounted to about R500-million over the past year. Year on year growth trends suggest this figure will double by 2012. These estimates cover display, search and message-based advertisements.

The head of Vodacom Mobile Media, Jason Probert, said previous estimates miscalculated the value of the mobile advertising industry as it focused on reports by online publishers submitted to the Digital Media and Marketing Association (DMMA).

“When you take into account the entire mobile advertising ecosystem and include mobile ad networks like AdMob, operator services like Apple, mobile search and social networks like MXit, the picture is dramatically different,” he said.

Juan du Toit, head of international business development and marketing for MXit, believes that South Africa will see substantial growth in media performance on mobile platforms this year and in 2012.

“The way that consumers interact with brands is evolving rapidly. Media strategists know that mobile media campaigns deepen the engagement and relevance of brands within their target markets. One of MXit’s core strengths to an advertiser is our ability to create and grow communities of loyal brand consumers and activists, which, in turn, offers an intriguing and difficult-to-ignore value proposition for the South African marketing industry.”

Asked to comment on the figure predicted, World Wide Worx founder and online trends analyst Arthur Goldstuck said: “Those are three of the key players in the industry, so they should know. You can trust their figures, but I suspect that a lot of that revenue number will come from mobi-sites — not what we would think of as traditional ads. This in itself implies interesting things about the way the ad spectrum in South Africa is evolving.”

Mail & Guardian online editor Chris Roper, said “It’s a big number, but it would be more interesting to know what types of audiences you can reach via what mobile platform, and how that segments in terms of revenue. For example, will advertising on tabletss, to high end LSMs [Living Standards Measure], be a meaningful number in that total? Or are advertisers better advised to spend on mobile to reach lower LSMs, and in more traditional media to reach a high end market?”