Millennial Media, in the spirit of its monthly SMART reports, is one of the first to join the requisite torrent of year-end predictions.
According to the mobile ad network, we’ll see over the next year:
1. The U.S. Mobile Web Will Reach Nearly 100M Unique Users Per Month
2. Advertisers Will Invest Significantly in Site and Application Mobile Destinations
3. New Entrants to the Mobile Market Will Emerge
4. Location x Relevancy x Immediacy= Mobile Triple Play in 2010
5. Advertisers Will Increasingly Buy Audiences over Buying Media Properties
6. Mobile Will Be Called to Task on Privacy
7. Mobile Retail Activity and Commerce Proliferates
8. Demand Will Exceed Supply in Some Areas; Supply Will Exceed Demand in Others
9. Competition in the Application Space Increases
10. Agencies Demand Frequency Capping & SOV
No. 4 is most interesting to me because most of Millennial’s ad placements are brands and agencies that are largely replicating online strategies on a smaller mobile screen. In other words, they generally aren’t basing campaign objectives on the location targeting possible with GPS enabled devices.
More location targeting is coming, say the leading U.S. mobile ad networks that we talk to including Millennial and others like JumpTap. Other points on this list relate closely to location, such as No. 7, given the reality that most retail activity takes place in physical stores.
In other words, stores have physical locations in the real world — to which mobile search, mapping and product information can assist in generating foot traffic and conversions. Mobile usage behavior is also conducive to shopping as our data and others’ indicate.
To point 9, competition in the application space will increase, yes… iPhone is at 100,000+ apps and Android just passed 20,000. But we believe this growth will slow as the excitement around apps is reined in by the reality that more reach and cost effectiveness can be attained with mobile Web sites.
This is partly behind point 2, and will continue to evolve as mobile browsers themselves do. Mobile Web sites are slowly gaining the capabilities previously reserved for native apps. In a sense, we’re following the same online trend of the past few years (a.k.a. “Web 2.0”), involving a shift from client-centric world to a more browser-based one.
We’ll see a lot of change in the mobile marketplace in 2010. Mass market advertiser interest — erstwhile tempered by recession — will slowly thaw. Meanwhile, product innovation, falling device prices and mobile Web usage will continue to rise. Expect a lot to happen, and quickly.