Sports Vertical Sees Surge in Mobile Ad Spend and App Development in Q1 2012

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The sports vertical saw noticeable upticks in mobile ad spend and mobile application development in the first quarter of 2012, according to Millennial Media’s “Scorecard for Mobile Advertising Reach and Targeting (S.M.A.R.T.)” report in June recapping the first quarter of 2012.

According to Millennial Media, the three key global advertiser trends in the first quarter were: 1) increased mobile spend, 2) audience targeting and 3) app promotion.

Regarding increased mobile spend, Millennial Media noted that in North America, advertisers continued to shift ad spend away from traditional media channels and toward mobile, notably in the finance vertical.

For audience targeting in North America, advertisers began moving away from content targeting and toward buying audiences in the first quarter.

Regarding app promotion in North America, big developers made significant investments to promote existing apps and drive incremental downloads in the first quarter.

According to Millennial Media, sustained in-market presence represented 31 percent of advertisers’ campaign goals mix, followed by lead gen/registrations with 25 percent, product launch/release with 17 percent, brand awareness with 14 percent, increased foot traffic with 10 percent and site traffic with 3 percent.

The sports vertical saw a 287 percent year-over-year surge in mobile ad spend in the first quarter, followed by news with 261 percent growth, travel with 200 percent growth, CPG/FMCG (consumer packaged goods/fast-moving consumer goods) with 179 percent growth and health (fitness and wellness) with 111 percent growth.

According to Millennial Media, the top 10 global brand advertising verticals in the first quarter (ranked by spend) were:

  1. telecommunications

  2. finance

  3. travel

  4. retail and restaurants

  5. entertainment


  7. education

  8. portals and directories

  9. automotive

  10. dating

The report also listed the leading real-world audiences being targeted by advertisers. These included in-market auto intenders, IT decision-makers, gadget geeks, movie buffs and mobile switchers.

Application download accounted for 42 percent of the post-click campaign action mix, followed by enroll/join/subscribe with 34 percent, mobile social media with 21 percent, store locator with 21 percent, site search with 19 percent and watch video with 18 percent.

The top 10 mobile app categories in the first quarter (ranked by impressions) were:

  1. games

  2. music and entertainment

  3. mobile social media

  4. communications

  5. productivity and tools

  6. sports

  7. news

  8. personalization

  9. weather

  10. health and fitness

Sports apps nearly doubled quarter-over-quarter, according to Millennial Media. “Larger publishers created branded apps around seasonal sporting events, like Super Bowl and March Madness, and enticed users to download their apps by providing real-time updates to sporting events and — in some cases — allowing users to watch games directly on their mobile devices.”

Millennial Media expects this trend to continue this summer, thanks to the UEFA European Championships and Summer Olympics.

Seventy-three percent of the first-quarter device mix was smartphones, followed by non-phone connected devices with 20 percent and feature phones with 7 percent.

Android accounted for 49 percent of the OS mix, followed by iOS with 33 percent, BlackBerry with 14 percent, Windows with 3 percent and Symbian with 1 percent.



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