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The State of Mobile Advertising in Mexico

We’ve written about mobile advertising’s strong growth potential in Latin America. A new study from IAB Mexico offers a detailed look at what’s happening with this particular market.

Mobile Penetration
The IAB Mexico study cites statistics from the Comisión Federal de Telecomunicaciones—the government agency that regulates telecommunications in Mexico—that indicate that there are 94.6 million mobile phone lines in Mexico. Given that Mexico’s population is 112 million, this means that there is an 84% penetration rate for mobile in Mexico.
However, Convergencia Research estimates mobile penetration to reach 94% by the end of 2012 and to hit over 100% by the first quarter of 2013. In addition, Google’s Our Mobile Planet study showed a 20% penetration rate for smartphones in Mexico. As such, there’s clearly a strong mobile market emerging rapidly in Mexico.

Companies and Plans
Telecel seems to be the major mobile operator in the country, with 69% of the mobile subscriptions, followed by Movistar (21%), Iusacell (6%) and Nextel (4%). Most mobile subscriptions (85%) in Mexico are prepaid.

Ad Spend
Overall, in 2011 advertisers invested 402 million pesos (US$29.8 million) in mobile advertising in Mexico. The large majority—83%—of 2011 mobile advertising in Mexico was in what IAB Mexico calls “pauta pura,” which means display ads, SMS/MMS messaging and search. The reaminder was in “desarrollo,” which means creation of mobile sites, mobile apps and advergaming.

Advertising Formats
Display ads in mobile portals were the dominant format in pauta pura in 2011, making up 73% of the possible ad formats. SMS and MMS were a distant second at 11%. Most of the mobile advertising revenues (73%) came directly from advertisers and only 16% from agencies, with only 1% from networks.
In terms of desarrollo-type advertising, 51% of the revenues came from specific apps, 30% from mobile portals, 16% from SMS/MMS app set-ups and just 2% from advergaming.

The Advertisers
In 2011 in Mexico, mobile content aggregators were by far the biggest advertisers: 69% of the advertising spend came from them. Other industries accounted for a much lower portion mobile ad spend in Mexico: media and entertainment (5%), the financial industry (6%), government services (5%), tourism (3%), auto industry (2%).

Share of Online Ad Spend
Mobile accounted for 7.2% of Mexico’s online ad spend in 2011. It may not seem like a lot but in reality, mobile’s share of online ad spend in Mexico is actually larger than mobile’s share in the United Kingdom (4%), the United States (5%) and Spain (1.8%).

Ultimately, the 2011 figures point to a healthy mobile ad market in Mexico that has very strong potential to keep growing. This is why we developed the Jumba Mobile Network, which unites more than 150 mobile sites and offers a wide range of targeting capabilities to reach the growing audience of mobile users in both Mexico and Latin America.

To find out how you can use Jumba Mobile to deliver strong results for your next campaign, please contact us.

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