How AdMob Helps Google and Mobile Ad Players

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2009-11-10 Print this article Print

AdMob serves ads on some 15,000 mobile Web sites and applications for iPhone and Android. But AdMob's claim to fame, Boland told eWEEK, is that it has the most amount of advertising placed within iPhone applications. Ideally, the AdMob team would take AdSense for Mobile and make it the dominant platform for not just iPhone, but all smartphones based on Android.    

Still, all the vendors are vying for mobile ad pie that while currently modest, is rapidly growing. While desktop advertising has had a full decade to grow, mobile advertising didn't really get any legs until months after the iPhone arrived in 2007.

As of June 2009, Nielsen said there were 55 million active mobile Web users in the U.S. The top five mobile ad networks in the U.S. in terms of potential monthly reach are Millennial Media, with 45.6 million monthly unique visitors, AOL's Third Screen Media with 28.6 million, AdMob with 25.7 million, Microsoft's MSN Ad Network with 25.4 million and Jumptap with 23.4 million.

Bernstein Research analyst Jeffrey Lindsay modestly projected the mobile ad market to hit $2 billion by 2013 in the U.S. However, he said Google will get a significant benefit from its likely large share of this $2 billion opportunity in the U.S. Armed with AdMob, Google will seek to build out its mobile Web ad arsenal.

So, are the other mobile ad network players indignant or scared? Essentially, no.

The general belief is that the mobile Web ad space is a green field, and that Google's purchase of AdMob will pave the way for Internet companies to strike deals with others in the mobile ad network long tail.

Millennial Media President and CEO Paul Palmieri said in a statement:

"Today Google validated what many companies to include Millennial have thought for years - that mobile is a different market with a huge potential for advertising; possibly a bigger opportunity than online media. As the clear leader in mobile brand advertising, we are happy to see a player like Google bring economies of scale to the performance advertising space in mobile."

Greystripe CEO Michael Chang was similarly excited by Google's play, noting that it opens the door for Internet companies to strike more deals, or even acquisitions, with mobile ad networks. Greystripe's specialty is offering full-sceen Flash and video ads.

Chang said that while Google and AdMob are strong in the cost-per-click, small banner ads, Greystripe sells brand and rich media ads on a CPM basis. That's where Chang sees the mobile ad market going in the future.

Regardless, BroadPoint's Schacter noted that with Android, applications such as its Google Maps Navigation GPS, and now AdMob, Google clearly wants to become a leader in mobile computing.

This will be crucial as Google seeks to fend off Yahoo, which bought Actionality last year, and Microsoft, which nabbed ScreenTonic in 2007.  


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