A New Study from SNL Kagan “Checks In” On Mobile Location-Based Services

‘Economics of Location-Based Services’ provides an in-depth look at LBS, including user projections, business models, mobile advertising projections and company profiles.

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Cashing out from checking in will largely come from advertising and promotions as the services have a unique ability to communicate with users while they are on the town with wallets and purses in tow. For now, most social location networks are currently pursuing a land grab and focusing on growing users to attract advertisers.

Monterey, Calif. (Vocus) October 21, 2010

Mobile phone location-based services (LBS) are beginning to gain traction, according to SNL Kagan’s seminal study of the wireless industry, Economics of Location-Based Services.

According to SNL Kagan, active users of LBS in the U.S., which includes registered users of location-aware social networks and monthly subscribers to carrier-based family tracking and navigation services, could hit 33.2 million at year-end 2010, up from 12.3 million in 2009. SNL Kagan points to increased smartphone adoption as pivotal to the upward trajectory of location-based services. By the end of 2010, 41% (118.1 million) of U.S. wireless subscribers will be using smartphones, which is expected to rise to 50% next year.

The study reveals that location-aware social networks are starting to attract consumer interest, with the leading six companies combining for a total of 18.1 million registered users as of September 2010. Foursquare is the fastest growing service, with an average quarterly growth rate of 273% since second-quarter 2009.

SNL Kagan indicates that advertising is still in the nascent stage for location-aware social networks, with 2010 revenues only expected to total $11.9 million for the top six combined. As SNL Kagan Analyst John Fletcher notes: “Cashing out from checking in will largely come from advertising and promotions as the services have a unique ability to communicate with users while they are on the town with wallets and purses in tow. For now, most social location networks are currently pursuing a land grab and focusing on growing users to attract advertisers.”

Economics of Location-Based Services provides an in-depth look at LBS, including user projections, business models, mobile advertising projections and company profiles. This study and others are available exclusively as part of the SNL Kagan Unlimited Information Service. For more information, contact SNLKaganSales(at)snl(dot)com or +1.866.296.3743.

About SNL Kagan
SNL Kagan, a division of SNL Financial LC, is a comprehensive resource for financial intelligence in the media and communications sector, including the broadcasting, cable, entertainment, motion picture, telecom, wireless, satellite, publishing and new media industries. The SNL Kagan suite of products integrates breaking news, comprehensive data and expert analysis into an electronic database available online and updated around the clock. For more information, visit http://www.snlkagan.com.

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