We might have known that it would only be a matter of time before the ubiquitous Google AdSense machine started to tie in to the mobile applications market. There has been a predictable explosion in interest for smartphone applications and it would seem that the sky is the limit. Downloadable applications proliferate for Apple iPhone and Android platforms.
Google is now moving into the mobile ad market following the testing of text and graphical ads in private beta. The web-behemoth has expanded its field testing and is playing with contextual ads for both platforms. According to Google the ads can be targeted by “applications, locations, categories or keywords.”
Program developers can insert a snippet of code within their applications, allowing iPhone and Android powered handsets to display ads. This effectively synchronizes the application with the Google ad network and opens up significant earning opportunities down the road.
One of the challenges associated with the approach is, as always, to get past the typical consumer “ad resistance”. Harold Steinberg, director of business development for Urbanspoon (one of Google’s startup development partners in the venture) concurs. “What we are looking for… is to allow the user to look at the whole application as one and not say, “oh, that’s an ad, I’m not going to pay attention to it.”” If the ad is successfully integrated within the application there is more chance that the consumer will interact with it thus allowing the application developer and Google to make money.
Whilst Google is keeping things small right now and only working in beta with a small number of highly qualified partners, it has (as usual) a clear advantage in this marketplace. When Google opens up and allows marketers to select mobile applications as part of their overall AdSense campaigns, bidding will increase significantly and ad rates will go up.
As the smart phone market experiences unprecedented growth and the future looks equally as rosy, expect there to be significant interest in this platform and good earnings potential. Mobile application usage is expected to quadruple in five years and Google is perhaps banking on the fact that those eyeballs will be drawn to mobile AdSense.
Have you started to use AdSense Applications on your iPhone? We would love to hear your feedback.