Mobile video revenue expected to triple

Revenue could hit $1.34 bil by 2014, says eMarketer

Back in 2005, the measurement firm M: Metrics (now owned by comScore) estimated that just 1% of mobile phone users had watched any form of mobile video -- around 2 million people. Needless to say, the ad market for mobile video was virtually nonexistent.

Some 60 million or so iPhones later -- not to mention millions of Android devices and other smartphones -- it's safe to say that things have changed.

Finally, mobile video advertising is set to take off -- though from a decidedly small base. Revenue tied to mobile video is expected to nearly triple from 2009 to 2014 -- jumping from just $436 million to $1.34 billion, according to eMarketer. In 2010 alone, mobile video revenue should reach $548 million, per eMarketer, which predicts that the universe of mobile video viewers in the U.S. will approach 24 million this year.

However, eMarketer's mobile video revenue figures include dollars driven through advertising, direct downloads and subscriptions, with advertising still representing a small portion of the pie. This year for example, ad-supported mobile video is forecast to generate $35.1 million (online advertising alone is expected to exceed $25 billion in 2010 according to eMarketer).

However, among the various revenue segments, it's mobile video advertising that is expected to generate the most heat -- growing at a 60% compound rate from 2009 to 2014 -- according to the researcher. Similarly, the base of mobile viewers is expected to balloon over the same period, at a compound growth rate of 22.8%, per eMarketer.