AdMob Puts Ads in Android Apps

If AdMob wants a head start on putting advertising in Google Android mobile apps, they’ve got it. Yesterday, they began publically looking for Android developers, in an unveiling of an ad unit specifically for apps running on Google’s smartphone.

“We are already seeing strong interest in developing applications for Android-based devices, similar to what we saw with the iPhone last summer,” said Ali Diab, AdMob vice president of product management, reports CNET blogger Dawn Kawamoto.

In December, AdMob already served 27 million ads to mobile sites on Android. Frederic Lardinois over at ReadWriteWeb points out, Google has yet to release a dedicated advertising service for Android applications. Even on other handsets, so far, Google only lets advertisers target AdWord ads on mobile sites for the iPhone and G1, but doesn’t provide a solution for mobile apps yet.

In October, AdMob refueled with a $15.7M round of funding, led by Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners, and announced that they’re profitable. Red Herring reported that the company‚Äôs investment total hit $34.3 million, making it one of the most heavily funded among more than a dozen U.S.-based mobile ad network specialists backed by VCs.

I wonder how long Google can wait to acquire the right mobile advertising company, or if it’s focused on secretly building out its own team from the inside out. I’d venture a guess that AdMob, or any company that can nab significant mobile advertising market share, will be a highly-sout-after acquisition once the economy picks up.

Now may not be the time to buy… Silicon Valley giants are feeling the recession pains as hard as the rest of us. Google, like many other big companies, is laying off employees and cutting costs where possible in these hard times.

But Google is no stranger to big advertising acquisitions. They paid $3.1B for online ad startup DoubleClick in 2007. Will AdMob be next – if they play their cards right?