mobile ad growthIt’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to ad spend forecasts. The Kelsey Group is bullish on local mobile advertising over the next five years.

OK, so we’ve all heard this year will be “the year of mobile” for seemingly as long as “next year in Jerusalem” has been intoned at Passover seders.  Nevertheless, Going Mobile: The Mobile Local Media Opportunity makes some interesting predictions.

US mobile ad revenues are predicted to grow from $160
million last year to $3.1 billion in 2013, a compound annual growth rate
of 81.2 percent.

Kelsey splits ad spend into three distinct categories: display, search and SMS messaging. Last year, $21 million was spent on display; $39 million on search, and $100 million on SMS.

By 2013, search will reign supreme, according to the report, accounting for $2.3 billion in spending. Mobile
display ads will account for $567 million, with SMS advertising accounting for $270 million in spending.

Other interesting findings include these tidbits:

  • The percentage of mobile searches with “local intent” will grow from 28 percent in 2008 to 35 percent in 2013.
  • There are now 54.5 million mobile internet users in U.S., representing 25 percent of online users (though whether these users are redundant, given they likely already have computer-based web access, is unclear).
  • Approximately 15 percent of iPhone applications are local.

“There is a
strong correlation between local search and the mobile use case,
which will cause a good portion of the ongoing mobile application
boom to focus on local,” commented Michael Boland, The Kelsey Group’s Mobile Local Media program