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Google’s Results Prove Mobile Advertising is Becoming a Reality

by Nitesh Patel | Oct 20, 2010

Words like ‘experimental,’ and ‘niche,’ are often used to describe the status of advertising on mobile phones. However, on 14th October 2010 Google announced that its mobile advertising business is currently operating at a $1 billion annual run rate, which I believe represents a significant milestone and proof point that advertisers are beginning to take mobile advertising much more seriously. Strategy Analytics estimates that globally advertiser spending on mobile will reach over $6.9 billion in 2010, which we estimate would give Google a 15% share of the total mobile advertising market. This compares to Google’s 35% share of the total digital advertising market. We are not surprised that Google’s share in mobile advertising is lower than its total digital share given that mobile advertising is more fragmented than the online advertising market. Our advertising estimates are built on assumptions about growing mobile media usage and the average price that advertisers pay media owners to display their adverts within their properties. Indeed, Google has confirmed this growth in usage is fuelling the rise in its mobile advertising revenue - the company claims that search queries conducted by mobile handsets has increased by 500% over the past two years, with search queries from Android devices playing a role in that growth. Search requests from Android phones increased 300% in 1H 2010. This evidence of improving usage will also have a positive impact on advertisers’ attitude towards allocating their budgets to mobile, with companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, AOL, and Millenial Media positioned to benefit from this shifting sentiment. Although Apple is a one platform pony in the handset market it has shown how successful it can be at exploiting its niche. In June 2010 at its WWDC Apple stated that advertisers had already committed $60 million to its iAd platform. As online advertising networks Microsoft and Yahoo also continue to ramp up activity in mobile advertising, the next big question is – who will follow Google to be the next $1 billion mobile advertising company? Nitesh Patel
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