Mobile will take 15 percent of global online ad spend by 2016

Global mobile advertising and marketing is still just getting going, but is expected to grow from $3.4┬ábillion in 2010 at a compound annual growth rate of 37 percent to $22.5 billion in 2016. That’s according to research firm Berg Insight, which put out a new report Wednesday saying by 2016, mobile marketing and advertising worldwide will represent 15.2 percent of all online ad spending.

Berg said mobile advertising has been applied in more of an experimental way until now, but that’s quickly changing as companies increasingly launch full campaigns on mobile. Mobile is now becoming part of the media mix for advertisers, aided by booming adoption of smartphones and mobile media. Said┬áRickard Andersson, telecom analyst for Berg Insight:

The popularity of smartphones and the increasing availability of mobile media that can include mobile advertising are the main game changers. Brands are now progressively embracing the mobile channel, including the entire range of apps from games and entertainment to utility applications. Also mobile web advertising and opt-in SMS campaigns are popular.

In-app advertising has been the leading the way, but with the rise of HTML5 there is increasing opportunity in mobile web advertising in addition to traditional channels such as SMS, which still has a lot of reach. Looking ahead, location-based advertising has the potential to unleash the full power of mobile advertising, said Anderrson.

Anderrson expects more consolidation in the mobile marketing space as some of the independent companies get swallowed up, leaving a handful of large ad networks in place. Specialized mobile marketing firms such as Millennial Media, Smaato and Amobee are growing quickly while traditional powers such as Google(s goog), Microsoft(s msft), Apple(s aapl) and Yahoo (s yhoo) are also working to capitalize on this opportunity. Facebook is poised to also become a player if it leverages its user data for targeted campaigns. We’ve written about the spate of funding announcements and deals in the space, and that should continue through the coming years.

The mobile advertising market is a fast-growing opportunity because of its immediacy and relevance to users. The chance to reach consumers anywhere on a very personal device while factoring in context like time, place and preferences, can result in some very effective campaigns. Location-based advertising alone is already seeing big results and should be a major driver of mobile advertising. Brands would be smart to consider how to incorporate more mobile campaigns and consider all the ways they can reach consumers through smaller screen devices.