Their prediction? Over five years, mobile ad spend will increase 81.2% annually (compound growth rate), going from $160M last year to $3.1B (yes, billion) in 2013. Over the same period, mobile local search will grow from 1/8 of the total mobile spend to nearly half—from $20M to $1.3B, consistently constituting a little over half of the mobile search spend.
Usually, when I say “mobile marketing” (and even if I’m so specific as to say “mobile search marketing”), a lot of people take that to mean SMS (text message) marketing. While mobile marketing encompasses a lot more than just texting, SMS accounted for $100M of last year’s mobile ad spend according to Econsultancy, with mobile search generating $39M (including the $20M mentioned in local mobile search above) and display generating $20M.
However, in five years, the split will look vastly different:
In 2013, search will account for $2.3 billion in spending. Mobile display ads will account for $567 million, with SMS advertising accounting for $270 million in spending.
Kelsey Group also predicts that local searches will see the greatest lift in mobile. Last year, 28% of mobile searches had local intent; by 2013 that proportion is expected to grow to 35%. Focusing on iPhones only, about 15% of mobile apps are local.
Right now, there are 54.5 million mobile Internet users in the United States, representing a quarter of the online population.
What’s your biggest take-home from these findings? Do they seem overly optimistic in our current economic climate, or do you think we’ll turn the economy around in time to see numbers like these?