Mobile Ad Revenues To Top $4 Billion In 2015, Mostly From Search (Report)

Coda Research Consultancy in a new report forecasts mobile broadband search and display ad revenues in the US to grow to $4.2 billion in 2015, up from $1 billion in 2010.

The firm predicts that 70% of those revenues – or nearly $3 billion – will come from search advertising, and sees a bright future for local search in particular. SMS revenues on the other hand are forecasted to drop to a mere 3% in the next 5-6 years, down from 55% in 2010.

As we’ve noted before, most reports from research agencies predict a steep rise of revenues from mobile search in the coming years, and I’m bullish about that too, but Coda seems overly optimistic about the general growth curve in its forecasts. I also don’t believe revenues from SMS, which continues to be one of the cheapest, quickest and easiest to use form of peer-to-peer mobile communication, will really decrease so rapidly. Mobile advertising isn’t a zero-sum game.

A couple of weeks ago, eMarketer reached more conservative conclusions based on its own research, estimating that mobile ad spending, including messaging-based formats, will reach $416 million in 2009 and $1.56 billion by 2013. The Kelsey Group forecasts U.S. mobile advertising revenues (search and display) to grow to $3.1 billion by then.

The consensus, however, seems to be that SMS revenues are set for a decline in the next five years, and that the increase in mobile advertising revenue from search and display will compensate for that decline and continue to make the segment grow faster than regular Internet advertising.