Mobile DTV Poised for Rising Revenue Wave

PRINCETON, N.J.: Mobile ad revenues will hit $3.1 billion in 2013, up from $160 million last year, according to research from The Kelsey Group, a division of BIA. The rise represents a compound annual growth rate of more than 81 percent. Over the same five-year period, Kelsey predicts revenues generated by local search advertising will growth from $20 million to $1.3 billion--a CAGR of nearly 131 percent.

There is a strong correlation between local search and the mobile use case, which will cause a good portion of the ongoing mobile application boom to focus on local,” said Kelsey’s Michael Boland.

The numbers bode well for broadcasters on the cusp of launching mobile DTV. In January, 63 TV stations in 22 markets revealed plans to launch mobile DTV this year. The biggest question about the new platform is how to make money from it. Skeptics note that cell phone companies have yet to make money from their own mobile video services. Proponents contend that the local content inherent in broadcast television will lend itself to ad-supported searches.

Geodelic, a start-up in Santa Monica, Calif., makes a software application geared toward local ad-supported search. The technology was demonstrated at the recent Hollywood Post Alliance Tech Retreat in Palm Springs, Calif. A Geodelic-enabled handheld uses global positioning to determine its coordinates, then provides information on nearby businesses. The businesses are divided categorically, e.g., restaurants, gas stations, lodging, etc.; and are displayed in a readable, 3D-like carousel.

With regard to mobile searches, Kelsey says those with “local intent” will increase from 28 percent last year to 35 percent by 2013. It also noted that 25 percent of people using the Internet are doing so from handheld devices.