NEW YORK: Mobile advertising expenditure should double worldwide this year, topping $3bn as a result, according to a new forecast.

Research firm Gartner has estimated that mobile ad sales will rise from $1.6bn in 2010 to $3.3bn in 2011 and hit $20.6bn in 2015.

Asia Pacific and Japan could secure $1.6bn in revenues this year, rising to $6.9bn in 2015, figures standing at $701m and $5.8bn for North America.

Western Europe should see a similarly rapid surge in demand, from $569m to $5.1bn, while all other markets are expected to witness a lift to $2.8bn by 2015, measured against a predicted $410m in 2011.

The adoption of smartphones and tablets are among the key factors encouraging such a process, Andrew Frank, a research view president at Gartner, suggested.

"In 2011, we are finally seeing some important drivers fall into place, so that we can expect the market to more than double year-over-year in the coming two years," he said.

"This doesn't mean, by any stretch, that the experience delivered by mobile advertising will reach its optimum point in that time frame."

Mobile search, including paid-for placements in maps and numerous augmented reality tools, is pegged to provide the most substantial revenues by 2015.

Video and audio ads, however, are anticipated to post the fastest growth, while the display industry will be divided between mobile web browsers and in-app advertising, Gartner predicted.

"Mobile advertising is now recognized as an opportunity for brands, advertisers and publishers to engage consumers in a targeted and contextual manner, improving returns," said Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at the company.

"For that reason, mobile advertising budgets are set to increase tremendously across the various categories and regions, growing from 0.5%of the total advertising budget in 2010 to over 4% in 2015."

Data sourced from Gartner; additional content by Warc staff