The marketplace for mobile ads could see a major boost from a new crop of media players, according to analysts.
Researchers from Jupiter Research predict that the mobile advertising market could enjoy major gains if hardware vendors decide to build wireless internet connections into their players.
Analysts claim that the latest portable players have become sophisticated enough to make internet browsing practical and pump up the potential audience for advertisers.
"New devices such as portable media players with dramatically improved user interfaces capable of fully rendering HTML sites are driving demand for internet access on portable devices," said Jupiter Research president David Schatsky.
"Carriers should continue to roll out more devices that look like portable media players at affordable prices, perhaps even as a second device, and continue to break down the economic barriers of pricing and application restrictions."
Jupiter Research predicts that this expanding market could push advertisers to spend upwards of $2.2bn on ads for mobile devices by 2012.
More immediately, analysts predict that 19 per cent of mobile phones will be used for web browsing by the end of this year.
Analysts warned, however, that developers must move beyond the current 'mini-browser' mobile format and find ways to bring mobile web browsing on a par with PCs.
One solution could be to adopt the user- and location-specific style of ads used on many websites and services.
"We are finding that ads with location tags are selling at five to tenfold premiums over basic ads," said Jupiter Research vice president Julie Ask.
"The ability to tag users with location, demographics and behavioural data, complemented by devices that support rich media to avoid having their role in the advertising value chain made obsolete, must continue to push forward."
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