Mobile advertising is really heating up, considering that a third of American adults now own smartphones. However, the fate of mobile ads lie in the hands of smartphone users, not ad services. So far, it appears that some users are becoming more comfortable with viewing ads, but still others are annoyed. It’s hard to tell what the future holds. It’s a bit reminiscent of the late 90’s Internet banner ad debate.
Regardless, U.S. mobile advertising spending is predicted to nearly double this year to $1.2 billion. This is according to a fresh J.P. Morgan report. All fueled by growing mobile usage. In fact, JP Morgan analyst, Douglas Anmuth, believes mobile advertising on smartphones and tablets will ramp up much faster than on the PC-based Web. (Source: Mobile Advertising via MediaPost.com)
And Major Internet Companies Are In, Of Course!
Google, with its acquisition of AdMob for $750 million last year, is pushing hard into mobile through its Android phone, search engine and mobile payment systems, such as Google Wallet. Again, according to the J.P.Morgan report, mobile will most likely account for as much as 5% of their 2011 gross revenue. Earlier this year Google reported revenue from mobile operations had reached an annualized $1 billion. They’re also investing big in ad technology for tablets. Mobile is on the go ware, not just phones.
Apple also rolled out its mobile advertising service, iAd about a year ago. Since then they’ve been lowering their prices (most likely because AdMob is competing in the market). However, some advertising agencies are still balking at iAd’s cost because the promotions only reach Apple users.
It was in January 2010 when Apple acquired Quattro Wireless for $275 million. It’s a company that makes tools for embedding adverts in applications. This mobile advertising platform was to be used by developers who build applications for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch to place adverts in and around their software.
Even Yahoo! is in the mobile advertising game, and when it comes to a mobile presence overseas, they’re stronger because of its host of carrier deals.
Unless you have a huge budget for advertising, don’t go looking to any of these companies to buy your mobile ads, though.
Where to go to buy Mobile Ads
It takes a minimum buy of $300,000 from Apple’s iAd agency. If that’s not up your alley, you’ll need to bypass the big guys and go directly to agencies specializing in smaller sales.
As recommended on Inc.com, three agencies to check out are Chalkboard, Moolah Media and Jumptap.
Prices range around 5 to 10 cents per click for a basic campaign from Jumptap, $2-$3 per lead for Moolah Media and $360 per year for Chalkboard.