IDC Revises Ad Numbers, Google Now Dominant

In the world of mobile advertising forecasts, perception can become reality. Everyone wants to be perceived as the biggest or at least having momentum. However forecasting is a shadowy business where the numbers can be badly off with incorrect or sloppy assumptions or facts.

One or more of these were true of IDC's previous US mobile ad estimate, which showed Google and Apple tied for market share in the US at 21%. 

After the numbers came out in a BusinessWeek article there was something of an outcry, in part by Google (as well as others). Indeed, the company's earnings-call disclosure of its "$1 billion mobile ad run rate" was partly a response to the inaccurate IDC forecast.

Here are the old IDC numbers, released in September: 

  • Apple: 21% 
  • Google: 21%
  • JumpTap: 13%
  • Millennial: 11%
  • Yahoo: 9%
  • Microsoft: 7%
  • Nokia: 2% 
  • Other: 16%

Now IDC has revised its numbers (Google said it feels better about them "directionally"). Google totally overwhelms the rest of the field in terms of market share. It's believable that Google would be in the lead -- but by this much?

  • Google: 59%
  • Apple: 8.4%
  • Millennial: 6.8%
  • Yahoo: 5.6% 
  • Microsoft: 4.3%
  • Other: 15.9%

Microsoft and Yahoo are reportedly down vs. last year and Jumptap is nowhere to be seen in the public data. I suspect they're in the 15.9% category that I dubbed other.