Google's display and mobile ad businesses may be chugging along at a combined $3.5 billion run-rate for the year, but competition from Apple's iAd and other ad platforms mean the search engine can't curb its enthusiasm for the hunt.
The company's AdMob mobile display ad unit, which it acquired by paying more than Apple bid, is launching interactive video and interstitial ad units on Google's Android platform. See directly below.
These ad units can be tailored to run when the app opens or within the app itself.
These AdMob interstitial ads are targeted for developers of the most popular iOS and Android apps and "provide an additional option for premium publishers to effectively monetize their user base." That's means they cost a pretty penny to run.
This is a big deal because it opens a new revenue stream for Android, which is being activated on 200,000 devices each day, the company said.
Think about it: Google's mobile ad business was running at $1 billion run-rate without these interactive video ads from AdMob.
Tack on this new creative stream and Google will retain its pole position in a market where iAds are overpriced, but still performing well, according to Millenial Media.
There is also precedence for these kinds of ads on smartphones, namely the iPhones with which Android handsets compete.
AdMob launched the first interactive video ad unit for the iPhone in November 2009 and quickly became the top iPhone ad platform, running more than 120 video and interactive interstitial campaigns for Universal Pictures, Best Buy and Seattle's Best Coffee. Google noted Oct. 25:
"These interactive ad units have proven to be extremely effective in engaging users on iOS and we look forward to helping our advertisers reach more users than ever across platforms."
No wonder why Apple craved AdMob so much and why Google felt it had to own AdMob to gain a competitive advantage.
Fortunately for Google and AdMob, Apple has relaxed developer terms so that even its rivals can continue to monetize on the iPhone.
That's good for developers and good for Google and AdMob. Bad for Apple and iAd, which don't make money from Google AdMob ads.