2012 A Banner Year?

Mobile ad spending is expected to grow 80% in 2012 to $2.61B (Google’s share?  52%), which is the primary driver in a total increase in ad spending of 23% over 2011. The continued accelerated growth of mobile ad spending is in contrast to print’s decline, but it’s growth not necessarily at the expense of print’s decline.

Print advertising is expected to decline by 6% (from $36B to $33.8B), and while there is certainly cannibalizing in play, it doesn’t quite spell outright displacement of an entire medium – print will have a place alongside digital counterparts, akin to theme and variations.

With ad spending up this year, what does it mean to how this is dispersed across the media licensing industry? 2012 is a banner year for editorial licensing, as both the Olympics and the US presidential election will generate volumes of content and subsequent licensing volumes, but will consumption be comparative (or greater/less than) to 2008, which was pre-recession? In 2008 mobile ad spending was as blip and print was in the driver’s seat – oh, what a difference 4 years makes.

Are editorial licensors braced for the challenge of trying to reap their share of mobile ad spending in 2012? If they want to, they’ll need to focus on reigning in rights grabs from publishers. Gains sought through volume of licensing might well be cannibalized by leaving money on the table through extended rights across mobile app platforms.

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