This post originally appeared at BI Intelligence, a new subscription service covering every angle of the mobile industry.
Globally, mobile ad revenues were up an impressive 83% last year, according to a new report from IAB and IHS.
But the bulk of mobile revenue is still being driven by a desktop-based innovation, the search engine. Search accounted for 53% of global mobile ad revenues in 2012. That share is actually up slightly from 51% in 2011.
(On the desktop, search only accounted for a 46% share of ad revenue in 2012.)
In some regions the share controlled by search is even more pronounced. In the the most developed mobile markets, Western Europe and North America, search accounted for 60% and 56% of mobile ad revenue, respectively.
Practically speaking, this means that Google accounts for a plurality, if not an outright majority, of mobile ad revenue. According to StatCounter, Google had a 94% mobile search market share in June.
However, given the broader fast-paced expansion in the mobile ad market, the display portion is still experiencing robust growth, even as it slipped relative to search.
It’s worth noting that mobile hasn’t fully broken out as a separate, distinct ad market. Many mobile ads — including search ads and banner ads — are simply desktop ads that show up on your mobile device. These reflect changing consumer usage habits, but not yet a mature market with a depth of native ad formats.
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