Mobile operators will be the major benefactors with mobile growth expected to drive data adoption.
Global spending on consumer mobile media services consumed via the handset is anticipated to surpass $200bn by 2017, a rise from $161bn in 2012, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics.
The latest Global Mobile Media Forecast: 2001-2017 report revealed that data revenue accounted for $100bn, or 62.5%, of overall mobile media spending in 2012.
The research firm revealed that even though operators are concerned about being bypassed by providers of over-the-top media services, carriers have grown from consumer demand for media access on their phones.
Mobile data adoption is expected to be driven by mobile access to web browsing, games, apps and social media services, which is enabled by the increasing installed base of media-centric smartphones and flexible data pricing.
Strategy Analytics Wireless Media Strategies (WMS) research programme director, Nitesh Patel, said that moving ahead the challenge will be driving mobile media growth in less mature mobile data markets, where majority of users have basic or feature phones, remain served by 2G networks, but where demand for information, content and entertainment on mobile devices will be strong.
"Casual data tariffs or service orientated pricing will be a requirement in these markets, particularly as low priced smartphones become increasingly available," Patel said.
The report also revealed that the mobile advertising is expected to triple to surpass $42bn by 2017, accounting for 18% of overall mobile media expenditure.
Strategy Analytics vice president David Kerr said that mobile is becoming a core part of digital advertising with companies like Google making it easier for advertisers to deliver ads to mobile devices.
"Facebook also reported 30% of its digital ad revenue derived from mobile, which underlines advertiser demand to test and experiment with well-targeted mobile inventory provided by popular social networks," Kerr said.