The mobile and social media industry is a fast-growing market in the U.S.,with a 30% annual growth in 2011. Forecast to grow into a US$ 100 billion industry by 2015, how does each specific business segment -- including mobile content, advertising and social media -- stack up?

Consumer, Business Demand Growing

A study by PQ Media has determined that the Mobile and Social Media sector has grown 30% from 2010 to 2011 to US$ 45.4 billion in revenues. According to the U.S. Mobile & Social Media Forecast 2012-16 released at MediaPost's Mobile Insider Summit in Key Largo, Fla., the three "broad sectors" of mobile and social media all exhibited growth during this period. These are mobile content, mobile advertising and marketing and online social media.

PQ Media also identifies seven segments within the three broad sectors: Mobile advertising, mobile marketing, consumer mobile content and access, business mobile content and access, social networks, blogs and podcasts. Among these are 44 distinct revenue streams, including advertising, coupon marketing, paid downloads, access fees, paid content and mobile ads, among others.

A few figures of note:

  • Mobile content access grew 27.8% to US$ 39.17 billion
  • Mobile advertising and marketing grew 53.7% to US$ 3.39 billion
  • Online social media grew 42.1% to US$ 2.83 billion

Fast-growing Revenue Sources

Research shows that in-game ads, search ads and video advertising are among the fastest-growing segments. Revenue from marketing will outgrow advertising from 2012 to 2016, mostly fueled by the popularity of geo-targeted coupons and coupon-based mobile apps. Social networks are likewise the largest and fastest-growing segment, increasing 45.9% in 2011 to US$ 2.28 billion in revenue.

PQ Media lauded the stellar growth of the mobile media sector, citing that it reached the US$ 1 billion revenue mark faster than any other communications industry.

Mobile will also reach the $100 billion mark in 2015 faster than any other communications industry, driven by several key growth drivers, including strong growth in overall mobile device penetration, the transition to smartphones and tablets, the torrent of new mobile content launches and the continued growth of consumer and business time spent with mobile media."

In terms of business- vs. consumer targeted-activities, business generated a bigger share of the revenues, at 58%, with consumer-related revenues at 42% of the industry. PQ Media says mobile and social media accounts for 4.1% of the overall communications industry revenues in 2011, which is a 1.3% increase from five years ago.