Company & Industry News


How Many Mobile Devices Can You See at the Places I Care About?

April 3, 2020 by Reveal Mobile

As a provider of location-based analytics, audiences and attribution software, Reveal Mobile talks to agencies, brands, media companies and advertisers across the U.S. every day. 

In many of these conversations, people ask us: “How many mobile devices can you see at the places I care about?”

This article answers this question.


A few important facts upfront:


Reveal Mobile uses deterministic location data.

What does this mean?

Reveal Mobile uses actual GPS data that can be tied back to real phones and real in-store visits. We do not project, infer or estimate data volume. We do not use bid stream or exchange data. So you can be assured that the Reveal Mobile audience you advertise to is highly relevant and high-intent. In short, your media spend will not be artificially inflated or wasted. It also means that Reveal Mobile’s foot traffic analytics and attribution reports are accurate and authoritative.


Reveal Mobile can only see devices that have opted-in to location sharing.

What does this mean?

We all have a mobile phone. It’s equipped with GPS, which helps power apps: weather, sports, news, maps and navigation, etc. If you have chosen to share your location with an app that uses location data, and depending on whether you’ve chosen to share data “always” or only “when active,” and that app works with Reveal mobile, your device is likely visible to Reveal mobile (this is what we call our panel of devices). If you have not opted-in to sharing your location, or you don’t have any apps on your phone that work with Reveal Mobile, your device is not visible to Reveal Mobile. Put another way, Reveal Mobile doesn’t collect location data on all your customers, only your customers that have opted into location sharing and are in our panel.


Let’s get into the numbers.


U.S. Adults who Use a Mobile Phone: 204 million

Average Number of Times per Day a Mobile Phone User’s Device Provides its Location to an App: 30.  For a myriad of reasons (one reason being battery life of your phone) we don’t collect data continuously from a device, and therefore could miss locations a device visits if we don’t get a location event while they are visiting.

U.S. Mobile Phone Users

  • Willing to Share Their Location: 71%
  • Willing to Share Their Location if the Benefits are Clear: 52%
  • Willing to Share Their Location for Marketing Purposes: 34%
  • Know Their Location is Used to Enable Tailored Ads: 59%
  • Opted-in to Sharing Their Location: 70%
  • Recently Adjusted Location Sharing Settings to Manage Data Privacy: 41%




Four things a mobile phone user has to do for their location to be known:

  1. Have phone turned on
  2. Have at least one app installed on their phone that Reveal Mobile has a relationship with
  3. Have opted-in to sharing their location with that app either always or when active
  4. Have a strong enough mobile signal for the location to be shared

Number of Children Whose Mobile Devices Reveal Mobile Can See: 0

US Mobile Devices Reveal Mobile Can See at any Given Commercial, Retail or Public Location at any Time: 10%

Ten percent is the location data industry standard.  This varies based on the time period of your audience. If we only looked for customers on 1 day we would miss some device as a customer, but over the course of 30 days, or 90 days we’re likely going to catch a device while it’s visiting a location.

If you talk to a provider who claims to have larger numbers, ask if their location data is deterministic — actual and accurate, or if it is probabilistic — extrapolated and inaccurate. 


When it comes to location data, we recommend you ask eight hard questions. Get the Guide


Sources: eMarketer, Pew Research, Reveal Mobile

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