Revenue from U.S. mobile search advertising will soar from $33.2 million this year to $1.4 billion in 2012, at a compound annual growth rate of 112%, says Princeton, N.J.-based research firm The Kelsey Group. If the market is anything close to that, that’s good news for a number of mobile players, each of whom wants a piece of the pie:
- Carriers like Verizon Wireless (VZ, VOD) and Sprint Nextel (S), who must tap new revenue streams like advertising and mobile entertainment to make up for declining revenue from phone calls.
- Mobile content companies like NY’s Thumbplay, which just hired a new executive to launch its ad sales department. (The bad news for Thumbplay — they are now competing with Apple for ringtone sales.)
- Google, which is investing “hundreds of millions” on a mobile project, which could include a mobile operating system, custom phones, or both. Google has the lion’s share of the Web search market ad and is acting fast to take control of the mobile search ad market if it explodes as predicted.