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Last year, mobile passed desktop for local search query volume, according to BIA/Kelsey data released in May 2015. Rapid growth is set to continue for the former.
The research reported that there would be 81.8 billion US local search queries conducted via mobile in 2015, up 23.0% over 2014. In comparison, desktop local search volume was expected to drop slightly this year, from 65.6 billion to 64.6 billion. Such trends were expected to continue over the coming years, and BIA/Kelsey estimated that by 2019, the number of US local searches through mobile devices would reach 141.9 billion, vs. 62.3 billion for desktops.
As more consumers run local searches on mobile, advertisers are increasing spending on local mobile ad campaigns. In April 2015, BIA/Kelsey estimated that US mobile ad spending on local, or location-targeted, placements would rise 56% this year to $6.7 billion, or 37% of all mobile ad dollars. Even in 2019, growth was expected to be 18%, pushing US mobile local ad spending to $18.2 billion.
eMarketer expects mobile to overtake desktop for US search ad dollars this year, rising from $8.72 billion to $12.85 billion—just slightly above desktop’s $12.82 billion. At the same time, there will be 156.4 million mobile phone search users in the US, representing 49.0% of the population.
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