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Not surprisingly, as consumers move to mobile, so do the advertising dollars.

In a report published today, eMarketer estimates that desktop ad search spending will drop by $1.4 billion, or 9.4 percent less than last year. Meanwhile, mobile search spending will get a huge 82 percent boost to reach $9 billion.

[We’ll be exploring the changing world of mobile advertising at our Mobile Summit next month.]

The figures follow the overall trends for both ad categories: Desktop search ad growth has been declining steadily over the past few years. Mobile search ad spending, on the other hand, has more than doubled its growth over the past two years (see chart below).

emarketer mobile desktop search adsMostly, we’re seeing advertisers catching up to some very obvious consumer trends. People — especially those who buy expensive products — are spending much more time now searching on their smartphones on tablets. Mobile shopping is becoming more widespread as well, so those mobile-centric consumers are getting used to acting on ads right on their devices.

In general, mobile ads also offer up more interesting techniques for advertisers, since they can be tied to your location in real-time. That ultimately gives them a level of relevancy that desktop search ads can’t quite match.

Also, mobile search ads can offer more opportunities for creativity and deeper integration with content.

For example, Yahoo’s newly launched Gemini product, a “unified marketplace” that marries mobile search and native advertising.

“By bringing the two together, advertisers can now buy, manage, and optimize their mobile search and native ad spend in one place — driving greater performance and higher impact for their businesses and brands,” wrote Jay Rossiter, senior vice president of Yahoo’s cloud platform group, and Adam Cahan, senior vice president of mobile and emerging products.

Speaking broadly, the mobile advertising market is still nascent, but it’s heating up quickly, with more and more mobile marketing startups popping up every week.

Overall, mobile advertising is expected to be a $40 billion market by 2018.


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