MobiAd News had a chance to chat with Russell Buckley, the European Managing Director of AdMob, one of the fastest growing companies in the Mobile Advertising space.
What does AdMob do?
Founded in 2006, AdMob gives both advertisers and web publishers the ability to personalize advertising to millions of mobile customers throughout 150 countries, geo-targeted by region, language, carrier, phone brand, phone model, OS, and more.
AdMob, Inc., announced in February that it had served 1 billion mobile ads over the past 6 month period, and they say that they will serve another 1 billion in the next 6 months. This is a major indicator of the growth in mobile advertising, as in the previous 6 months AdMob’s volume was 30 million ads. AdMob has over 1,000 advertisers that work with them in over 150 countries, and an inventory of over 600 million pages available.
AdMob also released a breakdown of the 1 billion ads served. In terms of geographic spread, the 4 countries that had between 50 million and 90 million ads per month are:
• US 90 million/month 20%
• South Africa 66 million/month 15%
• India 57 million/month 13%
• UK 53 million/month 12%
Another interesting statistic is the breakdown of publishers in the AdMob network. Of the five channels, ‘Communities’ and ‘Downloads’ far outweigh ‘Portals’, ‘News and Information’, and ‘Entertainment’ in terms of traffic
The traffic breakdown by channel is (per AdMob’s press release):
1. Communities – 45 %
2. Downloads – 44%
3. Portals – 8%
4. Entertainment – 2%
5. News and Information – 1%
So how does AdMob work?
According to Russell Buckley, the AdMob ad service is actually a fairly simple exercise. It is done by a handful of employees and powerful server technology. The AdMob people scan WAP sites to identify the available inventory of mobile ads. They then sell this inventory to advertisers, and the server platform serves the ads all over the world instantaneously. AdMob charges 20-30 cents per click in the USA, and 5 cents in India and South Africa. For banner ads, they charge 15 cents per impression. They are the Ebay of Mobile Advertising!
What are the future initiatives of AdMob over the next 6 months?
Russell Buckley says that AdMob plans to have served 2 billion ads in another 6 months and the company is also getting ready to deliver rich media banner ads soon.
What is the mobile advertising industry waiting for and where do you think are the advertisers in this continuum?
Russell points out that the Industry is waiting for fixed price data plans to be announced by operators, before rich media ads can take off. When we do have an “all you can eat” package of content and data pricing, where it won’t cost consumers a lot more money to view rich media content, then the market will grow further.
On the agency side, Russell thinks the agencies are not totally well informed as to what the Mobile advertising opportunities are. There is a lot of general talk but not enough commitment. But as ad volume gets bigger and bigger, the advertisers will start to take this medium more seriously, and learn how to use it in the best way as part of the overall media mix. (see Notes from Mobile Advertising -USA).
What is the secret behind AdMob’s success?
“It is all about the right timing! We happen to be in the right place at the right time” says Russell Buckley. Even when you have the best idea and the best implementation in the world, if the timing is not right, you won’t get anywhere. This is the right time for AdMob!
A bit on Russell’s background:
Russell Buckley is a pioneer in the mobile space and especially in Mobile advertising. In addition to his crazy schedule with AdMob, Russell writes a respected mobile technology blog called MobHappy, participates and speaks in the Mobile Monday get-togethers and conferences around Europe. Click HERE for a short biography of Russell.
See another, longer interview with Russell from October 2006 in the Tech Digest.
Download a presentation Russell recently gave at a panel at Digital Hollywood, London HERE (2.4 MB).
Russell also wrote a white paper on Location Based Marketing and he has been kind enough to make it available for download.