When it comes to mobile marketing, exciting things are happening in South America. Mobile advertising in Brazil has seen tremendous growth, and 2014 will mark the third consecutive year mobile ad spending in the country more than doubles. From 2011’s modest $12.8 million to $132.9 million by the end of 2014, the country will see over a 900% increase in mobile ad spending.
Some of these high rates are influenced by the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup. By 2017, eMarketer forecasts mobile ad spending in Brazil will reach $731 million, at which point it will represent a 15% share of the country’s digital ad spending, and account for over 60% of mobile ad spending in Latin America.
Brazil’s mobile ad spending has closely followed expanding mobile internet penetration in the country, and more specifically intense smartphone uptake between 2010 and 2011. Keeping with the trend, 2013 should see the number of mobile internet users double over 2011 levels, as some 53 million internet users go online through their phones. It is worth noting that this year smartphones—at nearly 30 million users—will for the first time overtake feature phones in mobile internet usage, eMarketer forecasts.
Although so far the country’s large feature phone user base has not stopped advertisers from investing heavily in mobile, rising smartphone penetration will encourage further investments. May 2013 Opera Mediaworks data showed that Java-based phones—the OS commonly used on older feature phones—accounted for about 39% of mobile ad impressions served by the company in Brazil. Smartphones, however, were responsible for most of the remaining 60% of the platform’s mobile ad impressions.
Android-based devices led the way, with 30% of impressions, a nod to the platform’s more affordable and diverse selection in a market where much of the digital growth is driven by an emerging middle class. Apple’s popularity but steep prices for the Brazilian market kept iOS in second place.
As the smartphone footprint expands, the next few years of heavy mobile usage and large advertising budgets for the upcoming World Cup and Olympics are setting the stage for continued intense mobile ad spending growth in Brazil.