A Dubai company has launched a mobile advertising network in response to what it claims is "huge demand" for marketing via smartphones.
Plus7, which has been launched by the digital company Clique Media, hopes to cash in on a global mobile advertising industry worth an estimated US$2 billion (Dh7.34bn).
Ashwin Salian, a co-founder of Clique, said the platform would "connect advertisers and publishers". He added that he envisaged "huge demand" for mobile advertising in the region.
Plus7 will work with media agencies and brands looking to place advertisements on mobile media sites and applications. It will take a percentage of the spending, which Mr Salian said "varies from publisher to publisher".
"Although there are several mobile ad networks globally, there is still a gap in the Middle East for a mobile ad network that brings ad inventory from regional publishers, especially Arabic, and app developers," said Sagar Shetty, another co-founder of Clique.
Plus7 said it would "help mobilise and monetise content from Arabic publishers and app developers in the region".
Mr Salian said the network was "in the process of signing contacts with regional publishers", but he declined to name any of the media companies. It also plans to place mobile advertisements using international ad networks.
According to eMarketer, total spending on mobile advertising will top $1bn in the US for the first time this year.
The research company forecasts that $1.23bn will be spent on mobile advertising in the US this year, set to grow to $4.4bn by 2015. Paul Berney, the managing director of the Mobile Marketing Association in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said there were no conclusive figures on the total size of the global mobile advertising market.
"A rough guess would be that it's worth more than $2bn a year globally," he said.
According to Google, the total spending on digital advertising in the Middle East and North Africa will hit $175 million this year. Mobile advertising is thought to represent just a fraction of such spending, but it is forecast to grow.
"We're still at the very early phases of mobile advertising in the Middle East," Mr Berney said. "I'm expecting the Middle East to follow the same trends of other developed markets. I think it's going to grow dramatically."
The Mobile Marketing Association, a non-profit trade association, has 15 member companies in the Middle East.
Mr Berney said the association plans to employ a country manager in Dubai to handle its Middle Eastern operations.