Mobile Search in the US

Mobile Search in the US

JULY 24, 2007

Still waiting for a market leader.

Competition
for the US mobile search market promises to be fierce, thanks to the
large US online ad market and strong pushes by portals.

eMarketer projects that by 2011, mobile search will account for
around $715 million, or almost 15% of a total mobile advertising market
worth nearly $4.7 billion.

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Granted, a $715 million mobile search market is not a foregone
conclusion, but many of the behavioral factors are in place in the US
market to push mobile search forward. For one, there is already a
strong correlation between mobile Internet use and accessing mobile
search services.

In April 2007, iCrossing
reported that three-quarters of mobile Internet subscribers access
mobile search services. This is in contrast to the little more than 20%
of general mobile phone users in the US who access mobile search.

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The US mobile search market can be expected to suffer some growing
pains over the next two to three years as the tug of war between the
major operators, the major portal players, major media and a gaggle of
mobile search start-ups compete for the title of mobile search leader.

eMarketer Senior Analyst John du Pre Gauntt said, "Mobile
search in the US has all the right parts on the table: a huge online
advertising ecosystem, the world’s leading content industry, massive
portal players, major league mobile operators and a host of VC-backed
start-ups.

"In other words, it’ll be a bloody mess over the next few years
sorting out the center of gravity for mobile search, as each player
tries to convince the others to follow its lead. The good news for
marketers is that there’s enough of a prize for the winner(s) that
resolution will come."

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