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13
Jan
2010

Mobile Advertising - Consolidation's the name of the game...

POSTED BY Global Administrator
Well, it’s all go in mobile advertising, that’s for sure. After Google had forked out $750 million for AdMob in November last year, and Apple signaled their intention of moving into the advertising space with their acquisition of Quattro Wireless for a reported $275 million, you might have thought the industry would have paused to draw breath… But, no, up pops Amobee with a fistful of readies (albeit an undisclosed fistful) and adds the UK mobile advertising agency RingRing Media to its collection.



Clearly, consolidation is the name of the game here; equally, clearly, there is a growing consensus that there is money to be made from mobile advertising. And the consolidation is likely to continue: announcing the forthcoming acquisition, Zohar Levkovitz, co-founder and CEO of Amobee, said that “We will continue to acquire adjacent companies, to build the world’s largest mobile advertising player”. And while Google might raise an eyebrow at the latter half of that statement, Amobee – which counts Vodafone and Telefonica amongst its customers - is certainly well placed to fight its corner, even more so once the RingRing deal has been completed.



Well, it’s all go in mobile advertising, that’s for sure. After Google had forked out $750 million for AdMob in November last year, and Apple signaled their intention of moving into the advertising space with their acquisition of Quattro Wireless for a reported $275 million, you might have thought the industry would have paused to draw breath… But, no, up pops Amobee with a fistful of readies (albeit an undisclosed fistful) and adds the UK mobile advertising agency RingRing Media to its collection.



So – who’s next into the advertising network retail store? Now that Apple has made its intentions clear with the Quattro Wireless purchase, the two other major players to watch will be Microsoft and Yahoo!, and it would be surprising if at least one of these did not dip into its coffers during 2010. One of AdMob and Quattro’s main competitors, Greystripe said in December that it too had received interest from a number of undeclared suitors; the US-based Millennial Media is a possible target; there are several privately-funded advertising applications providers – including Celltick, Mobixell, Rhythm NewMedia and Smaato – that might also attract attention.



In the background, behind the flurry of mobile advertising networks changing hands, there is also the small matter of the developing mobile advertising market, and how it will pan out. It is certainly possible that the key players are seeking to talk up mobile advertising (“Have you heard about this new way of making money on mobile? It’s huge! It’s so huge, we’ve just spent hundreds of millions on it!”) and thereby make the growth a self-fulfilling prophecy, but after all, the markets are highly reflexive: if Google says something is gonna be hot, and so does Apple, and so does Yahoo!, well, feel the heat coming out of it. But behind the hype is a cold rationale: mobiles enable highly targeted, personalized advertising; mobile response rates are far higher than fixed Internet; mobile enables provides detailed analytics of an advertising campaign; everybody has a mobile. Oh, and nobody is watching TV advertising anymore because – unless it’s the sporting event or the X Factor – we don’t watch TV live, we’re watching it 27 hours later via the PVR and as soon as the ad break comes, we hit the fast forward button.



So if you want to sell your product, mobile is looking like an increasingly attractive proposition. More advertising budget is being, and will continue to be, allocated to mobile; and as that happens, expect that advertising network retail store to get a little busier…