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Sports goes for the mobile ad gold with near 500 perecent growth in spending




Millennial Media Vertical Explosion2013 was a big year for mobile advertising. An unprecedented number of companies and industries spent more than $3 billion in just the first half of the year versus $1.2 billion in the first half of 2012. But that’s just half the story. For the rest, we turn to the newly released “2013 Year in Review” S.M.A.R.T. report from Millennial Media.

Entertainment moved up one spot to the number one slot on the mobile ad spend chart. More than half of all mobile entertainment campaigns used video which helped push video ads overall up 18% over last year.

Retail dropped to second place followed by Telecommunications, Finance, and Consumer Goods. Here’s an interesting note – Pharmaceuticals made the chart for the first time coming in ninth for ad spending.

When it comes to growth, no vertical comes close to Sports. 489% growth year-over-year! Some of that might have come from the lead up to the Olympics, but more likely it’s a by-product of the ability to watch almost every pro sport on your mobile device. Leading up to the Super Bowl, the NFL reported seeing a 33% increase in the number of fans watching digital video and a 152% growth in mobile viewership. Mobile has definitely changed the way we follow our favorite teams, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sports making the top spend chart in the next year or two.

A few other verticals had triple digit YOY spending increases including Employment (209%), Energy & Power (196%) and Non-Profits & Charities (170%).

The best news about the growth in mobile advertising is the way we’re advertising. Static banner ads at the bottom of the screen aren’t enough, so advertisers are testing new ways of getting their message across to consumers. As I mentioned, video is on the rise and behind that is something called Dynamic Functions. These are ads that ask users to swipe, shake or tilt in order to interact with the ad. Only 7% of the ads on Millennial Media’s network featured these types of actions last year, but clearly this is a direction we need to keep exploring.

On the downside, there was a drop in the number of ads leading to social media (18% in 2012 vs 8% in 2013) and even fewer ads asked people to place a call or subscribe.

Want to know more? Head over to Millennial Media and download the “2013 Year in Review” S.M.A.R.T. report. It’s free and fun to read.