BOSTON: Global spending on consumer mobile media consumed via handsets will rise from $161bn in 2012 to over $200bn by 2017, according to a new study.

The Global Mobile Media Forecast: 2001-2017 report, from Strategy Analytics, a provider of consultancy and marketing intelligence, suggests there will be huge growth in handset browsing, mobile applications, mobile games, mobile music, mobile video, mobile television, ringtones, wallpapers and alerts.

Mobile advertising will become an increasingly important source of revenue, it said, more than tripling to $42bn by 2017, and accounting for 18% of total mobile media spending.

"Mobile is becoming a core part of digital advertising, with companies like Google making it easier for advertisers to deliver ads to mobile devices," said David Kerr, vice president at Strategy Analytics.

He also noted that Facebook derived 30% of its digital ad revenue derived from mobile, which, he said "underlines advertiser demand to test and experiment with well-targeted mobile inventory provided by popular social networks". 

Meanwhile, Benedict Evans, a consultant at Enders Analytics, noted a shift away from PCs towards mobiles, with Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook driving the agenda.

"All of them, being on the phone and controlling the phone, is what controls the future and so they are all vitally important," he told Media360 this week, reported Media Week.

He added that by 2017, three quarters of literate adults would possess smartphones, which he described as the point at which "mobile and technology merge."

A factor containing growth, however, will be lack of infrastructure in many markets that can handle the expected volumes of mobile data.

Nitesh Patel, director of the Wireless Media Strategies research programme, said: "Going forward the challenge will be driving mobile media growth in less mature mobile data markets, where a large proportion of users have basic or feature phones, remain served by 2G networks, but where demand for information, content and entertainment on mobile devices will be strong."

Data sourced from PR Newswire, Media Week; additional content by Warc staff