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Majority Of Directory Publishers See Mobile As Important Revenue Stream Over Next Three Years

CHANTILLY, Va. and DUBLIN, Nov. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent qualitative survey of 11 global directory publishers in six countries reveals 73 percent expect mobile services to be a major part of their business by 2016, and that the vast majority of them are already offering mobile related services to their customers. The survey also identifies full-service mobile website creation as a significant opportunity for directory publishers to assist small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to capitalize on the power of mobile advertising.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110616/NE20926LOGO)

These findings are part of a joint research study published by BIA/Kelsey, a trusted advisor to local media companies, and dotMobi, makers of the mobile website publishing platform goMobi. The report, titled, "The Strategic Value of Mobile for Directory Publishers," details how directory publishers worldwide are leveraging the opportunity of the mobile web for themselves and their customers. The report examines the expected revenue growth around mobile product segments for the publishing industry and examines the investments and infrastructure they are building to help their SMB customers market themselves through the mobile channel. 

The report indicates mobile's share of directory publisher revenue is currently at five percent of total revenues, which outpaces its share (0.6 percent) of overall local ad spending.

Commenting on this forecast, Michael Boland, analyst and program director for Mobile Local Media at BIA/Kelsey, said, "Overall, BIA/Kelsey reports that about 0.6 percent of local ad spending is currently devoted to mobile. Though this is a U.S. figure, mobile's share and growth rate are projected to be similar in many other developed nations. Also, as this survey reveals, mobile's current share of revenue is slightly higher than other local media, such as newspapers, which indicates a strong position for directory publishers."

Other highlights from the report include:

  • The size of the mobile opportunity is made evident by the increase in mobile local search, which BIA/Kelsey predicts will eclipse desktop local search by 2015 (source: BIA/Kelsey's Mobile Local Media Forecast 2012). 
  • Widespread confidence revenue growth will occur with revenue streams mostly coming from mobile ad placement.
  • Advantages for directory publishers around mobile include direct sales channels, strengths in local business categories that are conducive to mobile and ability to bundle and cross-promote mobile products. 
  • The mobile opportunity comes into even greater light when examining the currently low penetration of SMB mobile-optimized websites. This situation offers directory publishers the opportunity to provide full-service mobile website creation to their SMB clients.

"There is a high level of awareness among advertisers that there is a need to have a mobile presence, but many are not clear what route they should take or how to establish a mobile presence for their businesses," said Eileen O'Sullivan, COO, dotMobi. "This presents a distinct opportunity for directory publishers to bring cost effective solutions to their advertisers for everyone's benefit. This report offers valuable insights that will assist publishers understand what investments should be made to stay ahead of user trends and deploy best of breed advertiser solutions."

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