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Mobile Ad Spending Growth Expected for BRIC Countries

Mobile user populations in Brazil, Russia, India and China have stabilized

NEW YORK, NY (April 19, 2011)—Overall ad spending levels in India, Russia and Brazil are still low, but the Chinese market will see nearly half a billion—$448.7 million—in mobile ad spending this year. Next year, eMarketer predicts, advertisers in China will spend nearly $717.8 million on mobile.

eMarketer’s estimates of mobile ad spending include display, search and messaging-based formats and are based on a meta-analysis of data from several firms as well as overall trends in advertising and mobile markets.

Spending growth this year will be highest in Brazil and China, where it will more than double. Between 2012 and 2015, eMarketer expects strong, double-digit annual growth in all four countries. Growth rates will start to taper off as these markets mature.

“Marketers, whether local players or subsidiaries of global firms, must consider putting mobile in their marketing mix if they want to effectively target BRIC consumers,” said Noah Elkin, eMarketer Principal Analyst.

Ad spending in BRIC is following fast-growing mobile internet and phone usage in the countries. The number of mobile phone users in China currently exceeds the total population of the United States, with nearly half of Chinese mobile phone users, or 371.2 million people, expected to use the mobile web at least monthly by the end of 2011. By 2015, over 600 million mobile users in China will be mobile internet users, making China by far the largest single-country market for the mobile web.

“Mobile devices play an increasingly vital role as a primary internet access mode for consumers in emerging markets,” Elkin said. “To an even greater extent than in developed markets, mobile devices function as portable computers, and with the steady growth in 3G services and the growing availability of low-cost smartphones, expect this trend to deepen.”

In Russia, mobile web penetration will go from 29% of mobile users this year to 36% by 2015. Growth in India and Brazil will be more dramatic. Triple-digit growth in mobile web users in India will end this year, but penetration will rise from 12% in 2011 to 34% by 2015. In Brazil, 11% of mobile phone users will be online this year, rising to one in four by 2015.

Compared to the US, BRIC countries are still spending less on mobile ads. China will spend less than half of what the US spent this year, though its growth rate is more than double that of the US.

About 80% of the US population, or 250.9 million people, will be mobile phone users in 2011, according to eMarketer. Of that group, 40.3%, or 101.1 million people, will be mobile internet users this year.

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Posted on April 19, 2011.