Mobile ad spend rose 32% between 2008 and 2009, with brands from the entertainment, media and telecoms sectors spending the largest amounts on the medium, according to the IAB and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Figures showed mobile ad spend in the UK rose to $56.3m CDN despite a contraction in the wider advertising market. The total spent on mobile advertising in the previous year was $43.9m CDN.
Mobile ad spend also grew consistently throughout 2009.
Entertainment and media companies contributed 61.5% of all mobile ad revenues and traditional telecoms companies contributed 14.7% in 2009.
Search accounted for 54% ($31m CDN) of all mobile ad spend after a 41% annual rise. Mobile display advertising peaked at $8.5m CDN in the final quarter of 2009, representing a 28% quarterly rise and totalling $26.7m CDN for the year.
Jon Mew, head of mobile at the IAB, said the growth in mobile advertising in the context of the downturn in the wider advertising market was unexpected. “The growth was better than we had hoped for" given the economic downturn.
Media and entertainment companies contributed so much to the overall figure because the definition included a broader number of companies, such as ringtone providers, mobile video providers and games.
The growing mobile ad market has been under increased focus in recent months following significant moves by major companies including Google and Apple.
Google is hoping to ramp up its mobile ad offering through the $717 CDN purchase of mobile ad network AdMob, subject to a possible anti-trust challenge from the US government, while Apple launched its own mobile ad platform, iAd, earlier this month.