There’s a battle brewing in the mobile ad marketplace. Both ad networks and private publishers are competing for a share of marketer spending.  While ad mobilephonemulticulturalnetworks remain important, analysts believe  private publishers are becoming increasingly powerful in this space.

In 2013, mobile ad spending should amount to $7 billion, a 55-65% increase over last year. Mobile display accounted for 39% or $1.755 billion of the total in 2012. Search made up the balance of mobile spending at $2.745 billion. As mobile advertising continues its rapid growth rate, large private publishers – Facebook, Pandora, and Twitter – are moving to control more of the marketplace. Last year, these private publishers pulled in 52% of the mobile ad display dollars that marketers spent. In comparison, Google, Apple, Millennial Media, and other ad networks had a smaller share of the mobile marketplace. However, Google remains dominant in mobile search and had revenue of $2.166 billion and a market share of well over 70% last year.

“Mobile ad networks are losing market share to publishers, and we expect them to lose even more going forward,” said Karsten Weide, Vice President of Media & Entertainment at IDC, with respect to the firm’s study.

However, not all analysts agree on the extent of the weakening of the ad networks. Smaller marketers, for example, may find it more affordable and efficient to deal with the networks.

Do you agree? Have you had success using ad networks or do you prefer using publishers and purchasing directly on their private spaces?

[Source: IDC: For Mobile Advertising Networks, Era of Dominance Is Over. IDC.com. 9 Apr. 2013. Web. 25 Apr. 2013]