Mobile Local Ad Revenues to Top $2.8 Billion by 2015

On Thursday, the local media mavens at BIA/Kelsey released its five-year outlook for US mobile local advertising. And if the projections are correct, business is about to pick up.

According to the firm, total US mobile ad spending will balloon from $790 million in 2010 to $4 billion in 2015. Concurrently, the local portion of that total will increase from $404 million to $2.8 billion.

Consequently, the advisory firm projects, locally targeted mobile ads will then make up 51% of overall US mobile ad spending, growing to 70% by 2015.

“Revenues will grow from not only ad volume, but also premiums placed on location-targeted ads,” said Michael Boland, senior analyst and program director of BIA/Kelsey’s Mobile Local Media practice. “These premiums result from higher performance for locally targeted mobile ads when compared with non-local ads, due to higher relevance, immediacy and consumer buying intent, all of which are more prevalent in mobile than many other print and digital media.”

Consistent with other local media, BIA/Kelsey defines mobile local advertising as that which targets users in specific locations or contains location-specific calls to action.

BIA/Kelsey maintains that the biggest continuing drivers of mobile ad revenue growth will be smartphone penetration, mobile Web usage and related increases in ad inventory. The firm also sees mobile advertising trickling down market to small and medium-sized businesses through a combination of local sales and self-serve tools.

“Exploding mobile usage, clearer ROI and a shorter purchase funnel will accelerate this demand within display, search and SMS advertising formats,” the report reads.