In all the discussion about the opportunities for mobile advertising, it is interest to consider that at present, the wireless industry spends much more on advertising than it gains in revenue. According to this article, the US mobile carriers collectively spent $6bn in 2007 on ads.
I'd imagine that at a global level, the figure is probably $20bn or so - and that's without the handset marketing budgets as well, plus retailers & assorted others. This contrasts with about $3bn predicted in new mobile-based ad cashflow into the industry, which various observers expect to rise about 5x over the next 4 years or so.
In other words, the mobile industry is likely to be a net spender on advertising until well into next decade.
It also throws up another conundrum - how much mobile-operator advertising will go via the mobile channel? Will you get a Vodafone banner while surfing on an Orange-supplied phone?
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