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Mobile Spending on the Rise: There are 32 Billion Apps for That



How much do you spend on mobile in a year? Figure in the cost of data plans, apps and app upgrades, downloaded music and videos, maybe you even coughed up a buck for a ring tone?

All together, and combined with the rest of the world, you’re looking at a final bill of around $138.2 billion in 2012. That’s up 13.4% from last year.

The data comes from Strategy Analytics’ Global Mobile Media Forecast and the numbers are pretty startling.

Along with the rise in consumer spend, is the rise in advertiser spend. That’s expected to double this year hitting around $11.6 billion.

Apps are a huge part of the growth. They come in second behind data plans with 18.9% of the total mobile spend globally. 18.9% doesn’t sound like much, but it represents $26.1 billion dollars in sales.

More sales, means more apps and in 2012, consumers are expected to buy 32 billion of them! Not surprising since apps stores are like the McDonalds of the mobile world. They both provide fast, inexpensive solutions to a perceived need. Perceived, because both are more guilty pleasure than necessary for human survival but if Angry Birds and a Quarter Pounder make you happy, then go for it.

As you can see, music is still doing pretty well but people aren’t paying for video. This is in spite of the fact that mobile video viewing is on the rise. The number for 2012 is expected to hit 280 billion but it’s only bringing in $3.6 billion in revenue. Face it, there are too many free options to pay for video on your phone. As for monetizing free video with ads, that’s not going as well as expected either.

David MacQueen, Strategy Analytics’ Director of Wireless Media Strategies, says,

“Despite the huge audience of 271 million users, ad revenues from mobile video are tiny – a meager $223m globally in 2011. While ad revenues will more than triple to $726 million in 2012, it is still clearly challenging for advertisers looking to reach consumers through video ads on smartphones.”

On the marketing end, in-app advertising is the clear winner. Strategy Analytics says that revenue from mobile web display ads landed at $934.5 million, but in-app advertising is in the billions, $1.7 of them, to be exact.

Social network related revenue is also on the rise. It’s a very small part of the picture right now, but is expected to jump 16.1% this year, bringing in $17.6 billion.

Marketers making money off of mobile — do you have an app for that?