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BIAKelsey-Local-Media-Outlook-2012-2017-Mar2013Increasing smartphone penetration, growing consumption of the mobile internet, and concurrent increases in ad inventory should spur 49.3% annual growth in local mobile ad spending through 2017, according to a new forecast from BIA/Kelsey. That would bring local mobile ad spend from $1.2 billion last year all the way to $9.1 billion in 2017. While remaining a fraction of the total local media equation, mobile’s share of the pie would grow from 0.9% last year to 6.1% at the end of the forecast period.

The other local media that make up the forecast include radio, TV, newspapers, Yellow pages, and online/interactive.

Looking further at the growth forecast, BIA/Kelsey predicts local mobile ad spend to almost double this year to $2.3 billion, before growing by another 70% in 2014. Growth rates will then slow, though remain greater than 25% for the following years.

The forecast represents a significant expansion from last year’s report, issued in November. That forecast called for mobile local ad spend to grow to $5.8 billion in 2016, while this update sees spending at $7.2 billion that year.

The expanded forecast is a result of greater demand, ad performance and advertising rates. The researchers note that inventory growth is currently exceeding demand, but expect that to change in later years. “Stronger guidance from mobile ad networks and ad share leaders” will also drive increased spending.

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