Mobile Advertising Is At A Turning Point, With Google, Apple And The FTC Determining The Future

For those centered in the mobile advertising game, the next few months could prove to be very interesting.  With big moves planned by Apple, Google still waiting in limbo with its AdMob purchase and the FTC waiting in the wings to rain on the parade, things could get tricky. The first big move was Google’s …   Read More

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Mobile Advertising Is At A Turning Point, With Google, Apple And The FTC Determining The FutureFor those centered in the mobile advertising game, the next few months could prove to be very interesting.  With big moves planned by Apple, Google still waiting in limbo with its AdMob purchase and the FTC waiting in the wings to rain on the parade, things could get tricky.

The first big move was Google’s purchase of AdMob, which is now under intense scrutiny by the FTC for anti-competitive issues, even though it seems Apple will soon have a leg up with the introduction of its so-called “iAd” mobile advertising platform.  What’s interesting is that Google is pushing hard for Apple to debut its plans, in hopes that it will get the FTC off its back by proving that Google is in no way set to dominate the mobile ad space.

In some ways, Apple’s plans with Quattro Wireless are more anti-competitive in nature than Google’s plans with AdMob- only because Apple dominates the mobile apps business at the moment.  By making it easy to implement its own advertising by way of its development SDK for iPhones/iPods and now the iPad, Apple can effectively lock-out (without formally doing so) all other competing ad-networks.

Google, on the other hand, has no such plans and even promotes openness through its mobile initiatives.  The only problem in the eyes of competitors and the FTC is Google’s reigning dominance in Online advertising, which many fear will trickle down to its mobile ad business as well, even though AdMob first specialized in iPhone-centric ad-units, go figure.

Even so-called competitors are starting to let the FTC know that there’s really nothing to worry about with Google’s purposed intentions with AdMob.  4INFO, a leading SMS marketing company, even sent a letter directly to the FTC stating that it sees no problem with the acquisition and that it actually promotes competition instead of hindering it.

The truth is that mobile advertising has many components and is at the beginning of what’s to come.  One company will have a hard time dominating every single aspect of mobile advertising.  While Google may lead the pack is mobile display advertising, Apple will likely lead in mobile app monetization and companies like 4INFO and others will continue to dominate SMS monetization.  The playing field is still relatively level at the moment, but it hinges greatly on whatever Apple has planned with iAd, which is set to be announced later this week.

The evolution of mobile advertising is far from complete, and though the big guys are controlling the space at the moment, the little guys still have massive potential to make names for themselves.  Whatever the case may be, the next few months should prove very interesting.

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10 comments

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  4. Peter

    If you check out the Google mobile site, you will realize that Google pretty much has a stake in each mobile advertising service; Mobile Ads, SMS Query, Shopping, and tons of other mobile services. While Ragazzo is right and they won’t monopolize the market, they DO have a piece of most major consumer services.

  5. Jess

    I agree with Ragazzo. The mobile advertising can’t solely be conquered by these two companies. Mobile space is indeed too broad for them to reign on.

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  7. Frank

    Clearly the FTC doesn’t understand the dynamics of the 3G Iphone and Android O/S, the playing field for mobile advertising has evolved.

    It is following in the lines of online advertising; however, with more added advertising outlets like iphone apps and android based apps.

    We at MobilizeMedia.com are very excited to be leaders in this industry and will be introducing products that will address WAP site along with Android app based advertising…follow us on @MobilizeM Twitter
    Frank

  8. Justin

    @Ragazzo, @Nick; you guys are spot-on, While Google, Apple and other “big players” will get the spotlight, they’ll by no means dominate. There’s far to many aspects, technologies and methodologies in mobile advertising for one company to steal it all.

    Google and Apple might own the short-term, but it’s anyone’s game in the long-run.

  9. Nick Ford

    I agree with Radazoo, this new space is far too broad for two companies to dominate. Look for the word “permission” when it comes to describing the future of mobile advertising. QR codes are emerging as a force to be reckoned with in the mobile ad world. Permission is granted by the user with the scan. “On-Demand” mobile advertising will be HUGE.

  10. Ragazzo

    The mobile space is growing far too quickly for any one or two companies to dominate. The space is growing faster than any advertising can keep up with…if Apple or Google tried to “monopolize” the space and raise cost they wouldn’t be able to meet the need and 10 other companies would come in under price point and fill the voids.

    The Govt just wants its piece if you ask me

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