Geotargeted Mobile Ad Dollars To Hit $32 Billion Within Five Years

Location-targeted ad spend will represent 45 percent of overall mobile ad revenues by 2021, says BIA Kelsey.

Geotargeted ad sales are expected to rise from $12.4 billion in 2016 to $32.4 billion in 2021, says local marketing analyst BIA Kelsey.

As of last year, geotargeted ads comprised 38 percent of the total $33 billion spent on mobile advertising today. By 2012, location-targeted ad revenues will account for 45 percent of all mobile ad spending, according to the report, Getting to $72 Billion: BIA/Kelsey’s Mobile Ad Revenue Forecast.

Back in June, BIA Kelsey’s wider look at the overall local ad marketplace called for total expenditures to reach $172.2 billion by 2020 for a decent annual gain of 4.2 percent.

As it has for the past decade, local online/interactive/digital marketing dollars will be $71.6 billion, representing 41.6 percent of total local media advertising revenues, up from 28.0 percent in 2015.

The tandem, intersecting rise of mobile and social marketing has been rapidly catching up to consumers’ time-spent on mobile. While eMarketer noted that the growth in mobile time spent has been hitting its peak, it remains fairly dominant: in 2016, mobile users were estimated to spend 3 hours 15 minutes per day using apps and 51 minutes of mobile browser activity.

“The smartphone revolution turns ten this year, and we’ve come a long way,” said Mike Boland, chief analyst of BIA/Kelsey and author of the report. “But many are far behind, still operating with a desktop mindset. They’ll be left behind the next era of mobile, defined by native-social, voice interfaces and multimedia, not banner ads and traditional search.”

Source: BIA Kelsey

The Rise of Native-Social

BIA Kelsey and local media analyst Borrell Associates have noted the rise of social media marketing in the regional and local space, versus more traditional forms of ad spending.

In November, Borrell found that “local digital” targeted banners make up 60 percent of the digital revenue; untargeted banners represent 9 percent; paid search represents 14 percent; and video represents 4 percent.

That has paved the way for “native-social” advertising by SMBs, driven largely by Facebook, which has placed a special emphasis on local business marketing.

Native-social ads are projected to have driven $10.2 billion in spending last year,  growing to $24.2 billion in 2021.

This growth stems from the format’s advantages, high performance and resulting demand, BIA Kelsey said.

“For example, mobile screens lack real estate for traditional top and side banner ads that ruled the desktop web,” the report noted. “A vertically scrolling feed (a la news feed) conversely holds greater capacity for ad inventory.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.