The Google vs Apple Clash of the Titans continues with the mobile advertising industry buzzing about the new iAd platform. Steve Jobs stated in his iAd announcement that most mobile advertising “sucks” and that “on a mobile device, search is not where it’s at, not like on a desktop.”
I have to respectfully disagree wholeheartedly to Steve’s last statement. I use my Droid smartphone WAY more than my desktop or laptop – even when I am at home and the computers are easily accessible. It’s just more convenient to have the information right there at my fingertips to be able to sift through quickly. The amount of searches I perform for local restaurants, stores, coupons, song lyrics etc. from my smartphone is staggering (admittedly, I’m probably addicted to my phone more than the average user, but still…). I truly believe that Apple has no chance in overtaking Google in any advertising arena, even Mobile.
The iAd announcement will, however, hopefully prove to the FTC that Google’s acquisition of AdMob is not the monopoly maker they thought it would be. Google seems to love healthy competition and barely even flinched when Bing.com was born – they seem to realize that there is plenty of business to go around in the paid search world.
With mobile advertising anticipated to become a HUGE revenue producer in the next few years, who can blame Apple for wanting to capitalize and take their share of the pie? Industry numbers indicate that over $400 million was spent by mobile advertisers in 2009 and analysts predict that by 2013 that number is expected to nearly QUADRUPLE! This is definitely enough projected revenue for all the key players to make their fair share of profits and make their shareholders happy.
So, like I said in my last blog post…no one knows who will win this battle OR the raging war between Google AdWords and Apple iAd, but as long as people are using their PCs and mobile devices to search the internet – Google wins.
A battle of epic proportions is brewing as Apple is anticipated to announce their mobile advertising platform (rumored to be named “iAd”) tomorrow at their April 8 iPhone OS 4.0 Event. The smartphone pioneer Apple acquired Quattro Wireless in January, 2010 for $275 million and it appears that they are ready to join Google in the mobile advertising arena, an arena that has been receiving quite a bit of federal scrutiny since Google’s purchase of AdMob for a whopping $750 million in late 2009.
After Apple bought Quattro, Google posted a Public Policy Blog welcoming Apple into the mobile ad space. Google stated that Apple’s acquisition of “Quattro Wireless is further proof that the mobile advertising space continues to be competitive. And with more investments and acquisitions in the space, including from established players like Apple and Google, that’s a sign that vigorous growth and competition will continue. That’s ultimately great for users, advertisers and publishers alike.”
Although the gesture is nice and professional, it leaves me wondering whether or not Google will be singing the same welcoming tune once Apple starts implementing their competitive mobile advertising systems. Sure, Apple buying Quattro looks good to the Feds for now, but we all REALLY know that there is only one true online advertising behemoth. Google has online advertising on lockdown – it will be interesting to see how this all plays out and to see if Apple manages to squeeze their way into the mobile advertising market and become a true player.
So, the Clash of the Titans continues between Google’s search advertising dominance and Apple’s consumer gadget/application expertise. Bottom line is this: Google becomes better and better the more we use the internet (whether leaving Yelp reviews, commenting on blog posts, tweeting, etc…) while Apple is merely helping us to use the internet more with their fancy devices. So, really it doesn’t matter who wins the Clash of the Titans – no matter what, Google wins. Even though I can already assume the outcome, I am still excited to see who will cash in most on the mobile advertising gold rush that is sure to come in the next few years.
According to the Google Public Policy Blog posted last week, Google received a “second request” from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for more information about the planned Google acquisition of mobile ad network AdMob. Apparently there are several technology watchdog agencies and lobbyists that have expressed serious concerns about how this will affect the mobile advertising world. The most obvious argument against this marriage of technology is that this merger will allow Google to dominate the mobile ad world and discourage competition.
While the Google AdMob acquisition could potentially allow Google and their PPC advertising division, Google AdWords, to become an even more dominant one-stop-shop for advertisers, this deal could also eventually lead to higher prices for advertising space. We all took Economics in high school or college and we all know that anti-trust laws were put into place for a reason – to stop monopolies from forming. However, on the opposite side, I haven’t seen anything newsworthy about Yahoo! or MSN (Bing) attempting to break into the mobile advertising sector to offering this service to their advertisers. Why should Google be essentially punished for being innovative, thinking outside the box and wanting to make its shareholders AND advertising customers more profits?
While I completely and wholeheartedly believe in the spirit of free enterprise and competition and I do believe that the FTC should have some concerns about this, the issue that I am most concerned about regarding this proposed Google AdMob acquisition is privacy. First of all, you should know that I am a Google Fanatic; I personally use Gmail, Voice, Wave, Docs, iGoogle, Reader, Friend Connect, Mobile, Picasa, Talk, Checkout, etc and I a love each and every one of them in their own way. That being said, my main concern is that if Google is allowed to acquire AdMob they will have access to entirely too much of my personal information. Will every webpage I visit from my Droid be logged? Will every song that I favorite be remembered? Will the locations that I travel to using my GPS be saved? Will the information I send via text messaging be scanned and analyzed?
In order to serve their searchers relevant ads, Google already gathers a tremendous amount of user data. This data combined with AdMobs mobile behavioral, demographic, contextual and geographical targeting would give Google a TREMENDOUS amount of user information. Having all of this personal information saved somewhere in Google-land will allow Google to serve me with more relevant advertising, but it makes me uncomfortable. All I can do is hope that Google will not take unfair advantage of this potential information goldmine.
Only time will tell how this Google AdMob acquisition situation will play out. One thing is for sure though: Having a professional PPC Management Company in place during these tumultuous advertising times is KEY.