February 11th, 2008 | Published in Google Mobile
You may have heard a lot of talk about mobile advertising, but it might still be hard to make sense of this rapidly growing and constantly changing market. To help us all understand this industry, its trends, and Google's part in the market, I wanted to start this column -- and hopefully a dialogue -- about mobile ads.
First, let's define what exactly mobile advertising is. In its simplest form, mobile advertising may be an SMS or an MMS sent to your phone. On phones with data plans, mobile advertising is more likely to be text or display ads on the mobile web's search and content pages. On more sophisticated devices, you may also see broadcast TV or video advertising.
The mobile ad market, however, faces a number of challenges. While industry leaders like Japan have the technology and scale for mobile ads to thrive, other markets face a chicken-and-egg phenomenon in the development of the mobile web. Some potential mobile website owners aren't sure how much they will be able to monetize a mobile website, or whether WAP will soon be replaced by HTML. And since the mobile web remains smaller than the regular web, mobile advertisers may not feel they have enough places to put their ads -- or enough viewers to see them.
The times are changing, though. The combined impact of mobile advertising promises to be huge -- and is projected to reach some $4B by the end of 2008. By 2011, this number is expected to increase to $11.3B. There are a few key reasons this market holds a lot of potential. For one, there are nearly more cell phones in the world than televisions, telephones, and personal computers combined. Secondly, smartphones that offer unlimited data plans and easy mobile web browsing are becoming increasingly popular. Smartphones already account for a majority of data traffic and are gaining in sales. Finally, mobile ads are still cheaper than their online counterparts right now.
Like I said, I want this to be a dialogue. So leave me your comments and questions below or on our YouTube channel. I'll pick some of them to talk about in future posts. In the meantime, you can learn more about mobile ads or AdSense for mobile content or read related blogposts such as What's new with Google Mobile Ads and Meet mobile Publisher Mikle.