By Rip Empson
Mobile advertising as you’ve likely heard, is hott right now. (With two “t’s”, yes.) According to comScore, mobile advertising spend is projected to hit $2.5 billion by 2014, with $2.7 billion projected in mobile ad revenues for this year and $6.6 billion by 2016.
What’s more, in August, 84.5 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones, and that number continues to grow. In the U.S., the bigs in mobile OSes, Android, iOS, RIM (RIMM), Symbian, and Windows, are duking it out for market share, with Android presently leading the pack. You can check out our post (and infographic) on the battle between iOS and Android for mobile advertising dominance here.
In Europe, the numbers for smartphone usage are very similar to the U.S.: As of July 2011, comScore reports, 88.4 million mobile subscribers (in the EU5) were using smartphones. Of the top smartphone platforms in Europe, Symbian led the way with 37.8 percent market share, with Android grabbing the second spot at 22.3 percent over iOS at 20.3 percent.
But what about the other players? Until Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) overtook it back in June of this year, Nokia (NYSE:NOK) was the largest manufacturer of smartphone devices by volume in the world. Earlier this year, Nokia loudly announced plans to replace Symbian and MeeGo with Windows Phone on most of its high end devices. The Finnish manufacturer has always had a wide array of products, but it’s struggled to find a foothold in the U.S. And, what’s more, it’s taken its fair share of heat in the press over the last 6 months.
The company’s new Windows phones won’t be hitting U.S. stores for at least a few more months, but as Chris pointed out earlier today, “these Windows Phones will be the first high-profile Nokia launches in years”, and no one is more aware of this than Nokia, which is struggling to maintain its relevance. As U.S. President of Nokia Operations Chris Weber said earlier this year about the company’s renewed focus on the U.S. market: “The reality is if we are not successful with Windows Phone, it doesn’t matter what we do elsewhere.”
But, there is some hope. As Johnny Biggs wrote a few days ago, with Windows Phone, Nokia just may be poised to make a big comeback. Taking Apple’s table scraps and pushing RIM down may prove to be a good strategy for Nokia going forward, especially (as John points out) two familiar brands — Microsoft and Nokia — are better than one — RIM.
Nokia has been successful in Europe because its phones, stores, and service were local, useable, and cheap. If they can capitalize on brand recognition and first-time smartphone buyers, it just may work.
What’s more, thanks to a nifty infographic from inneractive, the mobile ad mediation platform, we have evidence of more good news for Nokia, and it comes in the form of mobile advertising.
As you’ll see below, Nokia’s absolute ad requests (which are what makes mobile advertising tick) continue to grow month-to-month, and when it comes to click-through-rates (NYSE:CTR), Nokia has been consistently outperforming the rest of the industry (abroad), which includes the likes Android, iOS, and RIM.
As the infographic astutely reveals, with high ad requests and CTRs, this makes for a lot of happy Nokia developers and advertisers. Whether this trend can continue has Nokia moves its Windows Phone-powered devices into the U.S. remains to be seen, but, at the very least, it’s certainly a silver lining.
Without further ado, a look at global Nokia ad requests, CTR, distribution, and top countries:
(We’ll be updating with comparable fill rates and eCPM on Android and iOS for top European companies soon.)