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AdMob Update:
Google, iPad, Geo-targeting, & AdWhirl

google-admob.gifAdMob has been very much in the news over the past few weeks – being acquired by Google, testing new geo-targeted ads, releasing a new SDK to support the iPad, and updating their AdWhirl optimizer.

Taking a look at all these latest activities gives some idea of where this mobile advertising pioneer company is heading.

Google Acquisition

The biggest news of course is that Google’s acquisition of AdMob was finally approved by the US FTC (Federal Trade Commission) after the FTC concluded that the deal was unlikely to harm competition in the emerging market for mobile advertising networks. In particular the FTC cited Apple‘s acquisition of ad network Quattro and the launch of the iAd as part of the iPhone OS as indicators that the market would remain open and competitive. (see MobiAD article: The Future of iPhone & iAd)

AdMob’s founder and CEO Omar Hamoui commented, “We are excited to get to what’s next and to start working with Google to develop new products and services for our advertisers, developers, and publishers.” (see MobiAD interview with Omar: AdMob – Outpacing the Competition and the MobiAD interview with Russell Buckley, VP of Global Alliances at AdMob.)

In general, reaction to the decision was positive – people believe that given the rapidly evolving nature of the industry, an AdMob/Google combination won’t adversely limit competition. Plus, there is definitely the feeling that it is great to see a mobile advertising startup have such a financially successful exit.

As Justin Siegel, CEO of Boston-based mobile social network Mocospace said: “I think the FTC made the right decision here. It’s a good outcome for Google, Admob, and the mobile advertising industry.”

Read the full FTC press release here.

iPad SDK

In early June AdMob released an SDK that supports special iPad ad formats. Both iPad Text & Tile Ads and iPad Image Ads are supported within the SDK.

The AdMob SDK is now unified across all devices running the iPhone OS, which means that developers can download one binary for development across all Apple iPhone OS devices – iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

admob_ipad_ad.jpg

According to recent numbers from the AdMob, they served ads on approximately 850,000 unique iPad devices in May 2010. 38 per cent of the unique iPad devices in AdMob’s network came from outside of the US, with the Top 5 iPad countries being the United States (58 per cent), Japan (5 per cent), United Kingdom (4 per cent), China (4 per cent), and Canada (3 per cent).

Geo-targeting

AdMob has recently begun testing their new, real-time, geo-targeting targeted advertising in the UK, partnering with location-enabled dating site Lovestruck.com.

admob_lovestruck.jpgAds for Lovestruck.com will be served by AdMob on iPhone and iPod Touch devices, but only if they are in the London area. This will enable Lovestruck to serve a more relevant and targeted ad.

Brett Harding, managing director at Lovestruck.com, said, “Our current strategy is to focus on expanding our London membership base with our new mobile dating apps. AdMob’s latest technology means that we can be sure that only users in London are viewing our ads. This results in minimal marketing wastage, and in turn delivers a much lower cost-per-acquisition – a fundamental objective of our business.”

AdWhirl

One of AdMob’s products that has not received too much attention to date is AdWhirl, which they acquired in late 2009.

AdWhirl is an ad mediation product for mobile applications. It enables the app developer to easily source ads from several mobile ad networks to be served in their application. This is accomplished with a single set of ad codes, and the ads are selected according to rules setup by the developer .

In the past few months, AdMob has made quite a few changes to AdWhirl:

  • It now supports both the iPhone platform as well as the Android platform
  • Developers can now use an unlimited number of ad networks in their apps
  • AdWhirl now fully supports Apple’s iAd
  • House Ad functionality has been expanded so developers can centrally manage their own house ads

AdWhirl has also been made “open source”, meaning that the product’s source code is available to developers. According to their website, AdMob did this “to give developers complete control and full transparency over how they utilize their ad inventory.”

AdMob currently sees more than 100 million ad requests coming through their AdWhirl platform, from some 1,700 mobile applications. AdMob says they are commited to AdWhirl, saying “We believe that open source mediation plays an important role in the mobile ecosystem by giving developers the control they need to manage their business.”

It will be interesting to see how this ad mediation function is developed under Google, and whether it remains a free service or will be viewed as a future source of revenue.


19.06.2010    Tags: , , ,
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