DUBAI: Mobile devices will drive digital adspend growth in the Middle East of 35% a year, according to Deloitte, the consultancy.

Total advertising expenditure in the region was estimated at $4.9bn in 2012 and is expected to pass $5bn this year. Deloitte also suggested that digital will account for a tenth of total advertising expenditure by 2015.

Paul Lee, Deloitte Technology, Media & Telecommunications Knowledge and Research director, told an event organised by Dubai Media City, and reported by Gulf News, that these were conservative forecasts given the pace of change in the region.

The speed of migration towards digital, he noted, had been slower than other more mature markets, because the development of the ICT sector had not progressed uniformly.

Lee observed that there was a "big momentum" globally towards LTE networks and more than ten operators would lunch in the Middle East this year but he said the resulting faster broadband services would not have a major impact on consumers.

"What will LTE do that is different? The answer is, not that much. Effectively what you can do is more of the same," he said.

Lee urged advertisers to consider advertising that was appropriate to a smartphone. Where necessary, he said, new formats "should be tried which aim to harness its positive aspects – such as location information – and which work within its limitations".

Tablets, meanwhile, could "borrow content created for PCs as well as usage formerly undertaken on PCs," he added.

Globally, Lee suggested advertising revenues for smartphones in 2012 would reach $4.9bn, compared to $3.4bn for tablets.

In terms of revenue per unit, display ad revenues were forecast at $7 per tablet but at just $0.60 per smartphone, including in-app ads.

Data sourced from Gulf News, Al-Arabiya; additional content by Warc staff