Latin America is leading the pack when it comes to mobile advertising with growth of 215% compared to increases of 122% in North America and 90% in Europe.

New figures, courtesy of IAB Europe, the US IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence and IHS Technology, put global mobile ad revenue at $19.3 billion for 2013, close to double 2012’s $10.1 billion.

Much of the rocketing revenue is down to the performance of mobile display, a channel that boasted the highest amount of growth in 2013 when the trio of organisations recorded a 123% rise from 2012 to last year.

Programmatic fuelling growth

Anna Bager, vice president and general manager at the IAB’s Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, believes display’s contribution is rising as more advertisers adopt the latest technologies.

“As mobile ad campaigns become easier to plan, create, buy, and measure – in great part due to programmatic strategies – these operational efficiencies are spurring the growth of the mobile display ad market.

Mobile search was no slouch either as its year-on-year revenue climbed 92%, which the IAB and IHS said was down to smartphone penetration, affordable data plans and location-based search.

Search’s market share

Display may have outgrown search over the course of 2013, but search is still the segment contributing the most to mobile advertising’s overall revenue. Its 49% share delivered $9.5 billion in 2013.

Although mobile ad revenue is hurtling along at a fair pace there is still a large proportion of publishers that have yet to fully embrace the channel according to IAB Europe CEO Townsend Feehan.

“Many publishers still need to hone their mobile advertising strategies and acquire mobile skillsets as growth has been largely driven through in-app and native advertising whilst the delivery of a qualified audience at scale with demonstrable campaign impact is still a work-in-progress in some markets,” he stated.