Google Acquires AdMob: could it help developing countries?

Tue 10 November 2009 14:30, Louis Venter

Google Acquires AdMob: could it help developing countries?

Google has made a major move into mobile ad serving with its $750 million buyout of AdMob. Founded in 2006, AdMob’s progress has been rapid; they served their 100 billionth mobile ad in August this year. AdMob’s offering differs considerably from Google’s with the search giant offering predominantly mobile search and SMS ads whereas AdMob concentrates on display and “in application” ad serving.

Google’s blog highlights the growth potential, mentioning two key facts:

  • iPhone and Android users browse the Internet more often than anyone else [Morgan Stanley], contributing to Google's 5x mobile search growth over the past two years
  • A quarter of iPhone and Android users spend nearly 90 minutes per day using applications on their devices [AdMob]

Application ads also show great promise with several ad-funded apps available within the Google Android Marketplace and iPhone Appstore. These devices show great promise and an insight into where mobile telephony is going. Smart, fast devices that can connect easily to the internet  and deliver all the functionality of other handheld devices and, best of all, they’re with you all the time.

The bottom line is Google now covers most bases within the rapidly expanding online advertising industry. With online ad spend increasing Google’s growth potential doesn’t seem to be slowing. No wonder Murdoch is throwing his toys; he no longer controls the game.

The bigger picture shows that the growth potential in mobile is huge. Mobile could potentially act as a global leveler in the information age. For instance, in Africa mobile is the preferred method of connection to the internet as the infrastructure for high speed broadband is simply not available.

It means that mobile ads would have far more reach in developing countries. Mobile ad serving could be the vehicle that allows network operators to get new generation handhelds to people in these countries, thus boosting the internet penetration percentage. In Africa, for example, that’s a paltry 6.8% at the moment and yet, has shown a 1392% growth in the past 9 years. Whether this deal helps boost that remains to be seen but the potential is surely there.

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