A couple weeks ago, Marissa Mayer surprised a lot of people in the industry when the company she runs now, Yahoo, announced plans to outsource some of its ad sales to the company that made her famous and she quit in July, Google.
In a note on its corporate blog, Yahoo said it had signed “a global, non-exclusive agreement with Google to display ads on various Yahoo! properties and certain co-branded sites using Google’s AdSense for Content and Google’s AdMob services.”
The news was surprising for a couple reasons.
- When Mayer quit Google in July for the job at Yahoo, she didn’t do it in the friendliest way.
Google has integrated AdMob, its mobile advertising service, into AdWords so that anyone buying web ads through AdWords can now also buy them on mobile devices served by AdMob, according to Jonathan Alferness, Google’s director of product management/mobile ads.
The move essentially turns the web and mobile ad markets into the same, massive market. It adds 350 million mobile devices and 300,000 mobile apps to the AdWords universe, on all types of devices. Previously, AdWords reached 2 million web sites accessible by computers.
The move comes hours after Facebook did something similar—providing turnkey access to mobile and desktop, display and news feeds ads through its ads API. Taken together, it appears that Google and Facebook envision the web and mobile ad marketplaces eventually fusing into a relatively seamless whole.
Jason Spero, head of global mobile sales and strategy at Google, told Ad Age he believes that the AdWords/AdMob conjunction will scale up the mobile market dramatically by applying Google’s main ad revenue engine to handheld device platforms.
On mobile, available inventory has thus far outmatched the demand for ads against it, depressing prices dramatically (especially at Google). A new influx of mobile advertisers from AdMob might raise mobile prices, but by directly pitting web ad inventory against mobile inventory it could also lead to lower average prices across the board.
Apple iPhone owners are downloading almost twice as many paid applications as Google Android users, according to data from Google‘s mobile ad company AdMob. AdMob included this chart in its monthly mobile stats report.
AdMob doesn’t provide any explanation for this phenomenon, so here are our guesses:
- iTunes has a smooth purchasing/payment process. Google’s marketplace might not be as good.
- iTunes does a good job of highlighting popular paid apps. Android isn’t as good at that.
- There are probably more paid apps on a relative basis for iPhone than Android.
- The iPhone is positioned as a premium phone. Verizon offers some Android phones for free, same with T-Mobile. If you get your phone for free, you might be less willing to spend for applications. (Or be the type of users who buys paid apps.)
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According to data collected by mobile advertising network AdMob, Android phones have surpassed the iPhone in mobile traffic—at least in terms of ads served to the devices, which is a pretty good measure for overall traffic. As mobile browsers account for more and more of our online time, it’ll be interesting to see how the OS distribution works out. [TechCrunch]
Here are the US mobile web traffic figures for iPhone OS and Android, getting ready to collide: Android, on its way up; iPhone, on its way down. So when will Android overtake the iPhone? Try next month.
AdMob’s Mobile Metrics Report sees a predictable continuation of what we’d seen before from the ad tracking firm—specifically, that Android is on a serious tear, thanks in no small part to the massive success of the Droid. But before, the iPhone seemed unassailable. Now, it’s about to get trumped by Google’s OS, on terms it defined. In the US, that is. The rest of the world’s still warming to Android.
Modern smartphones are as much browsing devices as they are phones, so while mobile traffic isn’t the best way to measure total sales for a device, it’s a solid way to measure a device’s success, both in terms of how many people are using it, and how it’s getting used. The iPhone is a browsing device. So is the Pre. So are all the Android phones. But Windows Phones? BlackBerrys? Symbian devices? As popular as some of these are, they’re obviously not being used as smartphones.
The other key piece here, and one that’s not obvious from looking at the chart, is total browsing: It’s up. Way up. 193% up, in just one year. So when I talk about the iPhone falling to second place, I’m not declaring a loser—just a platform that’s winning more slowly. (Note: AdMob was recently, and generously, acquired by Google, though their advertising solutions are still cross-platform.) [Ars Technica]
All these wonderful things we’re learning today, from data! First, we find out that Android is a guy thing. Now, we discover that the iPod Touch shares more demographics with glittering vampires than smartphones. iPod Touch: Kid stuff.
The age distribution makes a lot of sense, especially with the direct available comparison of the iPhone: the iPod Touch is a good gift, a plausible purchase, and a good investment for a young person right now. An iPhone with a $70-a-month minimum contract is a tougher sell, either to parents, or to kids mostly supported by their parents.
And these kids don’t just buy different gadgets than adults—they use them differently, too. For example, they looooove apps:
But they’re stingy little bastards, these kids:
Buying an app can be tough without a credit card, so again, this isn’t shocking. But it does poke a little hole in the idea of the iPod Touch as a massive moneymaker for Apple. Hardware sales are tremendous and highly profitable, sure, but once the devices are in users’ soft little baby hands, they don’t keep raking it in like the iPhone does. [AdMob]
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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