The market for online and mobile advertising patents is large. In 2012, total ad spending for all media is set to reach nearly $200 billion. Of particular significance, online advertising is expected to account for a third of total ad spending, and is projected to surpass print for the first time this year. Specifically, online advertising is expected to generate $39.5 billion in ad sales in 2012 — a 23.3% increase from 2011 — compared to a sum of $33.8 billion on print. By 2016, total online ad expenditures are projected to hit $62 billion, with Facebook expected to account for one out of five digital display ads in 2015. This advertising evolution is of critical importance as the spread of viral media content is heavily reliant upon the connectivity of social networks.
Mobile devices are quickly becoming the primary means of communication for social networks. In 2012, mobile-ad spending in the US is projected to grow to 2.61 billion, which represents an 80% increase over 2011. As such, online advertisers are keenly interested in leveraging the opportunity of pairing their advertisements with the widespread distribution of viral media content. Accordingly, mobile advertising represents a major growth segment across all consumer demographics.
To highlight the market value of ad servers, mobile ad networks and mobile-ad intellectual property, Google acquired mobile-ad network, AdMob, in 2010, and Apple bought Quattro Wireless the same year. Likewise, smaller players such as Jumptap and India-based InMobi are vying for U.S. display ad dollars too. Microsoft paid $1.1 billion to AOL for 800 patents related to advertising, search, mapping and multimedia. Yahoo! sued Facebook in January, claiming that the social network violates 10 patents related to advertising, among other things.
The fluidity and level of competition in the display advertising market means new entrants can come in and be successful. Therefore, the licensing opportunities for Patent No. 8,185,431 will be significant.
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 Mashable.com. Online Ad Spending to Surpass Print for First Time in 2012 (January 19, 2012) (http://mashable.com/2012/01/19/online-advertising-surpasses-print-2012/)
 The State of The News Media 2012 (2012) (http://stateofthemedia.org/2012/overview-4/)
 Advertising Age. Mobile-Ad Spending Projected To Reach $2.61B In 2012 (January 25, 2012) (http://adage.com/article/digital/mobile-ad-spending-projected-reach-2-61b-2012/232334/)