| LONDON, April 20
LONDON, April 20 Ads within smartphone
applications such as the popular puzzle game Angry Birds are
turning into a key driver for mobile advertising, as apps become
the main distribution method for media on mobile phones,
according to a report.
In-app spending by advertisers in the United States and
western Europe, where there is a high concentration of
smartphones owned by affluent consumers, is set to overtake
spending on display ads on mobile websites this year, research
firm Strategy Analytics says.
The economy in apps, many of which are free, has taken time
to establish itself since Apple first launched the App
Store for the iPhone in 2007. Google also has a
thriving app store for its Android phones.
At first it seemed that most developers would have a hard
time making enough money from their small software programmes,
which were made for anything from playing games to checking the
weather or recognising songs.
But advertisers are now increasingly using them to reach the
consumers of those apps. Strategy Analytics estimates that
advertisers will spend $2.9 billion on in-app advertising this
year, while consumers will spend $26.1 billion buying them.
The number of apps downloaded globally is expected to grow
38 percent to more than 32 billion this year.
"Advertisers chase eyeballs, so the fact that brands spend
more on in-app advertising than the mobile Web is a clear sign
that apps are what consumers are glued to for an increasing
range of activities," said David MacQueen, the firm's director
of wireless media strategies.
In less affluent economies, consumers tend to use more basic
phones that may not have access to app stores, but browse the
Figures from InMobi, the world's largest independent mobile
ad network, confirm that mobile advertising is taking off, after
grappling for years with the small screen size and perceived
invasions of privacy on phones.
In a report to be published on Monday, InMobi says the
number of ads seen by consumers on mobile phones grew 21 percent
in January-March over the previous quarter to 283 billion.