Press Release

BIA/Kelsey: Call-Based Ad Market Poised for Explosive Growth, Driven by Mobile Penetration and Advances in Call Analytics
Experts to discuss mobile's anticipated impact on call-based advertising during a panel on mobile monetization at Mobile Local Media San Francisco, June 27

CHANTILLY, Va. (June 18, 2012) – The call-based advertising market, which includes all ads that use call-based lead tracking, is poised for explosive growth, according to a new report by BIA/Kelsey. Key growth drivers include the emergence of increasingly sophisticated call analytics and the unprecedented growth of mobile, which will unleash a dramatic increase in call-based advertising inventory.

The report, titled “Call-Based Ads: Eliminating the Unknown From Advertising,” provides historical context, lays the foundation for why it is poised for major growth and provides market forecasting. It also highlights data from BIA/Kelsey’s ongoing Local Commerce Monitor study, in which small-business advertisers consistently report that a phone call, even more than a personal visit to their store, is the most valuable type of new business lead.

“The rapid growth in smartphone penetration has put us on the cusp of a watershed moment in local advertising,” said Matt Booth, chief strategy officer and program director, Interactive Local Media, BIA/Kelsey. “Mobile is about to unleash a massive increase in call-based ad inventory, which will be so vast that many established companies will scramble to align their advertising portfolios to accept call-based ad products.”

Indeed, the report points to Google’s recent move to allow bid separation between online clicks and calls, a step which means paying more for calls, and a very rare change to Google’s optimization algorithm. BIA/Kelsey foresees a likely extension of split bidding to mobile.

According to the report, in 2011 the average U.S.-based business received 10.9 calls per month from desktop search (and all downstream properties through SEO) and 34.7 calls per month from mobile (including mobile search). In 2013 the average U.S.-based business will receive 13.8 calls per month as a result of desktop search and 80.9 calls from mobile.

“Our experience in both call analytics and advertising supports BIA/Kelsey’s predictions about the rapid growth,” said Peter Christothoulou, president of Marchex. “Mobile is the big driver and accounted for 83 percent of the 90 million calls we connected in Q1 2012. Local and national businesses are both getting into this market. We are already seeing some national brands allocate as much as 20 percent of their digital advertising budgets to generate calls and expect this to continue to grow.”

Booth will moderate a panel on June 27 at BIA/Kelsey’s Mobile Local Media San Francisco conference titled “Monetizing Mobile: Who’s Making Money and How?” The focus of the discussion will be mobile monetization, including call-based ads. The panel features John Busby, vice president, Marchex; Andrew Osis, president, CEO and cofounder, Poynt; Henry Tam Jr., vice president, self service advertising, Millennial Media; and Brian Wong, CEO, kiip.

MLM San Francisco boasts a powerful lineup of speakers, including headliners Mihir Shah, Groupon; Surojit Chatterjee and Brendon Kraham, Google; Mok Oh, PayPal; Mike Ghaffary, Yelp; Heidi Browning, Pandora; Stewart Alsop, Alsop Louie Partners; David Hornik, August Capital; Chris Folmar, SuperMedia; and Joe Weir, Belo Corp. The speakers and agenda will focus directly on how mobile is at the center of commerce today.

Event sponsors include goMobi, Gumiyo, MoFuse, PaperG, Telmetrics and xAd. Association partners include California Newspaper Publishers Association (CNPA), Local Search Association (LSA), Location Based Marketing Association (LBMA) and Wireless Communications Alliance (WCA). Media partners are NetNewsCheck and TVNewsCheck. Conference details, including speaker and agenda updates, venue information and online registration are available at www.biakelsey.com/mlmsf.

Availability of the Call-Based Ads Report

The BIA/Kelsey Advisory, “Call-Based Ads: Eliminating the Unknown From Advertising,” is available exclusively to clients of the firm’s Interactive Local Media (ILM) advisory service. The 48-page report includes 32 charts and figures and profiles of nine key players in the pay-per-call/call-tracking arena: CallSource, Felix, Freespee, LogMyCalls (a service of ContactPoint), Marchex, Mongoose Metrics, RingRevenue, Soleo and Telmetrics. For information on obtaining access to the report by becoming a client of BIA/Kelsey’s ILM advisory service, visit http://www.biakelsey.com/ILM, or contact Steve Passwaiter at (703) 802-2973 or spasswaiter@biakelsey.com.

About BIA/Kelsey

BIA/Kelsey advises companies in the local media space through consulting and valuation services, research, Continuous Advisory Services and conferences. Since 1983 BIA/Kelsey has been a resource to the media, mobile advertising, telecommunications, Yellow Pages and electronic directory markets, as well as to government agencies, law firms and investment companies looking to understand trends and revenue drivers. BIA/Kelsey’s annual conferences draw executives from across industries seeking expert guidance on how companies are finding innovative ways to grow. Additional information is available at http://www.biakelsey.com, on the company’s Local Media Watch blog, Twitter (http://twitter.com/BIAKelsey) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/biakelsey).

For more information contact:
Eileen Pacheco
For BIA/Kelsey
(508) 888-7478
eileen@tango-group.com

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