Grim News About Twitter Ad Revenue From BIA/Kelsey

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twitter_smallADOTAS – The latest report from BIA/Kelsey predicts social media advertising will expand from a $2.1 billion market in 2010 to an $8.3 billion market by 2015, but a little deeper digging unearths some foreboding data about Twitter’s revenue prospects.

The vast amount of social media ad dollars will continue to go to display, which is expected to see $7.7 billion in spend by 2015. Non-display revenue — Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts and all the other stuff of Twitter advertising — will grow to $600 million in 2015. Apparently non-display didn’t make squat in 2010 — according to BIA/Kelsey, display accounted for all 2010 social media revenue though other sources have reported Twitter’s 2010 revenue to be around $45 million.

Previously, eMarketer predicted that Twitter would bring in $150 million in 2011 and $250 million in 2012, so BIA’s prediction doesn’t seem very far off. I can’t be the only one thinking, “That’s it?” But last week I commented that Twitter’s beta text ads would bring in incremental revenue at best — there is no Twitter ad product that promises exponential revenue growth, something that’s ever-more haunting since North American user growth stalled a while ago.

As Twitter’s valuation keeps skyrocketing, it’s getting tougher to turn a blind eye to these grim revenue estimates.

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