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Vol 1, #1, March 17, 2009
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March 17, 2009

Mobile advertising revenue in Canada expected to hit $5.2 million for 2008

On February 24 the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada released the results of the first-ever Canadian Mobile Advertising Revenue Survey. It showed that mobile advertising revenue in Canada grew from $1.1 million in 2006 to $2.7 million in 2007, and is expected to almost double again in 2008 to $5.2 million*.

Standard SMS advertising programs currently generate 75% of the total Canadian Mobile advertising revenue, with the remainder divided across Premium SMS, Mobile Content, Mobile (Display) Advertising, Mobile Search and Mobile Applications. All forms of Mobile advertising are growing rapidly year-over-year, with the exception of Mobile Search, which is virtually non-existent at this time.

"This is an important day for the Mobile marketing industry in Canada," says Peter Vaz, VP Director, Digital Communications, M2 Universal Digital, and VP of IAB Canada's Emerging Platforms Council. "The results show not only the rapid growth of the market to date, but beyond that, the fact that Mobile marketing is poised to move from one-off experimental campaigns to becoming an important part of the overall Interactive marketing mix. Moreover, as multimedia and network capabilities evolve within the channel, the nature of the advertising offer will evolve as well, moving well beyond current SMS programs, into more sophisticated and personal Mobile Content, Video and Application campaigns across an even wider range of Advertiser categories."

Despite this rapid growth, the mobile industry is not without its challenges. Mobile Survey respondents identified the small size of the mobile internet-enabled audience and the revenue-building restrictions imposed by the current Carrier/Provider business model as possible business constraints. They also cited the current economic downturn and the impact it could have on mobile advertising growth in 2009.

"Fortunately, like all other Interactive media, one of the key strengths of the Mobile channel is its inherent measurability," says Adrian Schauer, Managing Partner, Vortex Mobile and Chair of IAB Canada's Mobile Comte. "Add to that the very immediate, targeted and opt-in nature of the advertising, and you have a golden triangle of opportunity for accountability and future growth that is of paramount importance to all clients, regardless of economic climate."

* 2008 Actuals will be confirmed when respondents return their 2008 Actual/2009 Estimated Revenue Survey later in March 2009

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