Mobile Ads To Soar In 2018, Especially In Local Media

Thanks to mobile mania, local advertising is on fire.

This year, local ads on mobile devices sold by pure-play mobile providers will hit $19 billion, according to a new forecast from BIA/Kelsey. In addition, traditional media players will sell another $3.1 billion in mobile ads in 2018, the research firm predicts.

As a result, the “mobile/social” category -- which BIA/Kelsey clumps together -- is set to become the third-largest local ad platform in 2018. Direct mail and local television continue to lead.

“We are very positive about local advertising on mobile devices to increase significantly in the next decade,” Mark Fratrik, chief economist and SVP at BIA/Kelsey, notes in a new report.

“Mobile has become a preferred platform for the advertising dollar because of its ability to capture audiences of all ages based precisely on where they are and what they are doing, at any given moment,” according to Fratrik.

Through at least 2022, that means mobile is poised to eat an increasingly large piece of local ad pie.

This year, pure-play mobile will account for 12.6% of the $151.2 billon expected to go towards local ad spending. By 2022, that share should grow to 19.2%, according to BIA/Kelsey.

Social media ad revenue from mobile (not including tablets) now represents just over 70% of total social ad spending -- and will grow to 80% by 2022, per BIA/Kelsey.

Facebook is presently positioned to suck up the bulk of those ad dollars, followed by Twitter, Snap, and LinkedIn.

Across all providers, location targeting ads within mobile will grow from $17.1 billion in 2017 to $38.7 billion in 2022, which will represent a 17.8% compound annual growth.

Driving this trend, Facebook just recently announced plans to give greater preference to local news in users’ New Feeds.

“We’re going to show more stories from news sources in your local town or city,” Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg proclaimed earlier this week.

If people follow a local publisher on Facebook, that publisher's content is now more likely to appear prominently in their feeds. The same goes for local stories shared by people’s friends, Zuckerberg said.

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