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A future that's spammed by ads wherever we go (2)

By Jules Quartly (China Daily)

08:57, August 29, 2012

However, the nation's mobile ad spending is comparatively low when compared with market leaders Japan and South Korea, which are both devoting about 18 percent of their online ad spending on mobile ads. An eMarketer report puts China's spending at 2.7 percent.

While Japan and South Korea have mature markets, this relatively small proportion of mobile ad spending in China is at first hard to understand.

First, China has, or will soon have, more smart phone owners than anywhere else. Second, outside the major cities mobile phones are often the only way to access the World Wide Web in a cheap, convenient and effective manner. Third, considering the State monopoly on mobile telecommunications and more than 1 billion mobile phone users, it should be fairly easy to adapt to the new reality. And increased Internet speed is a must.

What is also holding China's mobile advertisers back is that of the 1 billion mobile phone users, just 144 million are smart phone users. So, this market has to grow fast to accommodate the future. Which it will.

Again, Google appears to be leading the way, even in China, where traditionally it has fallen short. The company's AdMob division has doubled annual revenues to 1.8 billion yuan by providing ads based on mobile searches, playing games and watching videos. On the Apple platforms, iPhone and iPad, it provides five times more ads than its nearest competitor, according to iResearch.

Looking in the crystal ball, eMarketer is suggesting growth in China of 2 percent up to 2016 in terms of mobile ad spending. I think this is a low-ball figure. Chinese are quick adopters and it won't be long before domestic companies catch up with Google.

So, enjoy what you've got before it's gone. In my opinion, it won't be long before we are spammed out by ads on our phones, just like we are when it comes to magazines, TV and the Internet, or even walking down the street. Ads everywhere, basically. This is the cost of a consumer economy - where nothing is for free - and information is required.

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