In 2013, more than one out of every five ad dollars in South Korea will go toward mobile
South Korea has been a historical leader in technology adoption: In 2010, broadband was already in over 90% of households, and the number of mobile connections had surpassed the country’s total population. And as South Korea goes, so goes the tech-savvy world. For mobile-watchers then, developments in the mobile internet market in South Korea are considerable.
This year, South Korea is poised to outstrip Japan for the highest percentage worldwide of mobile phone users accessing the mobile internet, at 63%, according to eMarketer. That lead will grow until 2014, when South Korea nears maturity in the market and Japan begins to catch up.
Still, South Korea will remain the country with the highest mobile internet penetration among mobile phone users through 2016.
Marketers are catching up with this trend and finding consumers in South Korea on their mobile devices. Although the US is predicted to surpass Japan this year as the top mobile ad market in terms of pure dollars, in South Korea, mobile ad’s share of online spending is already significantly higher than in any country besides Japan, eMarketer estimates. And in 2013, South Korea will be first, with 20.1% of online ad dollars going toward mobile.
Moreover, mobile users in South Korea are actually noticing and reading the mobile ads served to them. According to a March 2012 survey of internet users from Ipsos OTX and Ipsos Global @dvisor, 54% of respondents in South Korea had read an ad on their mobile phone. That’s compared to only 23% of respondents who had read a mobile ad in the US and 19% who had done so in Japan.
For advertisers looking to reach consumers in South Korea, mobile is a good place to start.
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