The big, invisible, mobile billions that nobody can grab

There are billions upon billions of ad and spending dollars in our phones, waiting to be snatched up. Why can't big, cynical corporations capture them?

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Unlike, say, the gadget market, however, it’s much harder for upstarts and innovators to move the advertising market around—it’s a big Old Boys Network with multi-multi-year contracts. So we’ve yet to see what really smart, forward-thinking, mobile-smart firms can do to release some of that hidden $20 billion.

For another look at hidden billions of dollars in mobile money, held down in large part by old thinking and corporate contracts, check out the mobile payment maelstrom. Instead of giving 4.5 billion people the ability to pay with their cellphone, some of the biggest and smartest companies in the world are waiting for NFC technology to slowly infiltrate the smartphone market, which will likely move past NFC in one or two iPhone release cycles.

Next time you check out your cellular bill and gawk at the data pricing, just think: they could be making way, way more from you. The mobile scene is not a nefarious plan, it’s just a bunch of executives, shooting in the dark at what they think are uniform targets.

Top image via Mary Meeker's 2012 Internet Trends report.

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