Microsoft yesterday announced its ads SDK and, more significantly, a new Advertising Exchange for Mobile. This is from Microsoft's Raj Kapoor's blog post:
[Microsoft's Mobile Ad Exchange offers] superior ad targeting, multiple purchase models and leading resellers including Microsoft’s sales force –as well as the large-scale adCenter marketplace. Specific capabilities of our Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows Phone 7 include Demographic, Category, Carrier and Location targeting; Text and Image Units; Click to Call and Click to Web ad actions, and robust reporting on in-app ad revenue, ad inventory, clicks, CPM and sell thru rate. Our real-time, bidded mobile ad exchange enables multiple ad networks to bid on mobile inventory at the exact moment when an impression is served, increasing yield and reducing waste.
Again: real-time bidding and many flavors of targeting. Launch partners include Millennial Media, WHERE, InMobi and MobClix.
Windows 7 phones will be GSM-only at launch and for perhaps a year thereafter according to published reports. That means, in the US, no Verizon or Sprint for Windows Phones. Microsoft will thus be going head to head with Android (and the iPhone) at AT&T and T-Mobile. This may turn out to be a strategic mistake for Microsoft. However the phone will succeed or fail on its own merits.
The ad exchange as well, because it will be tied to Windows Phones, will similarly succeed or fail on the basis of their sales. Despite hype and promise Microsoft's PC-based exchanges (plural) have seen limited succeess to date to my knowledge.
The future of mobile display advertising inevitably includes integration with PC display, at least from a network or exchange standpoint. Microsoft would be smart to try and link mobile and PC display buying together now to broaden its market (if that's technically feasible).
Microsoft is ahead of the rest of the industry with this new exchange and its apparent capabilities. However it may see only limited adoption if Windows Phones don't prove to be a big hit.
Millennial's July data were released earlier this morning. They reflect what's been broadly reported elsewhere: continued growth of Android (and the iPad). Here are the headlines:
Basically, the story is that Android is now a rapidly gaining number two to the iPhone's number one on the Millennial network.
RIM has grown both in terms of representation on the network and in terms of developer involvement, but the news that Android has passed it is more confirmation that the company is in an increasingly challenging competitive position.
And now for the graphics:
In case it isn't clear, deals, coupons and local offers are very hot and will continue to be. The incredible rise of daily deals (e.g., Groupon) and the evolution of Foursquare as a couponing and loyalty platform reflect this. Indeed, deals have emerged as a uniquely popular and critical form of mobile marketing. I previously discussed data showing significant (100% YoY) growth for digital coupons.
In the iTunes app store alone there are more than 245 stand-alone apps that respond to the query "coupons." And there are well over 100 daily deal providers in the US market. But how many "vendors" can and will the market support?
Historically coupon sites were plagued by an "inventory" problem; there wasn't enough content there to be useful or that interesting to consumers. Cellfire, an early mobile coupons pioneer, was the exemplar of this problem until the company switched to grocery coupons. This was also a challenge with ValPak's PC site as well. Models that emphasize "push" (daily deals, ValPak's blue envelope) require less "inventory" than "pull" (search) models.
For those publishers, apps and sites seeking to build consumer brands and destinations, aggregation of others' deals has become a key strategy. Yipit, RetailMeNot, TheDealMap, 8Coupons and Shooger, among a number of others, are seeking to be one-stop destinations for offers of various sorts from a broad range of sources. Some of these players also seek to cultivate direct relationships with advertisers as well.
Accordingly, the coupons and deals ecosystem has "sellers" that own the advertiser or are the source of the deal, consumer-facing brands that distribute offers and those entities that try and do some version of both. ValPak does both, so does Groupon, so does Yelp. Google aspires to do both. Google of course is the ultimate, if imperfect, coupon "aggregator" because search is how most people online find deals. And Ask.com has a dedicated deals site.
In the daily deal segment, Yipit is angling to become a "one stop shop" for consumers. It only distributes others' offers. Shooger, which started in Florida and has recently expanded nationally, also seeks to be a comprehensive consumer destination, though it also allows advertisers to create coupons. The site also now crosses platforms. Shooger just launched its online presence after being exclusively a smarpthone app.
One of our most popular webcasts was on mobile coupons with Shooger and ValPak. And our next webinar will be on daily deals with Yipit and Closely.
While the entire deals segment shows no signs of slowing winners and losers will emerge in the near future -- though many companies on the consumer side (though not hundreds) can succeed. There's a land-grab going on for consumer awareness and usage. Winning sites and apps will need to offer both great content, which means comprehensiveness outside of the daily deals, as well as superior usability -- and probably cross-platform distribution for maximum and brand-building purposes.
Shooger is taking aim at all three.
Millennial Media released its June SMART report this morning. As usual it's "chock-a-block" full of data. I'll point to a few of the things that interest me. You can get the entire report here.
All data are based on Millennial's network and not necessarily representative of the broader mobile Internet.
The company cites Nielsen data for the proposition that the mobile Internet in the US is now 77 million people. The company asserts that it can reach to 81% of that audience.
Here are Millennial's top DMAs (by ad requests):
The fact that "HARLINGEN, TX" is ahead of "NEW YORK, NY" is suggestive of the idea that the company's network is not synonymous with the mobile Internet per se.
This month's SMART report focuses on the entertainment vertical (one of Millennial's top 3) and its campaign tactics. I'm not going to drill into those numbers. Rather I'll show Millennial's list of the top verticals:
Millennial shows that almost 60% of its campaigns are national, with "broad reach." However of the 41% that are targeted; the top two strategies are geo and demo targeting. When the audiences get large enough these layers will be married for geo + demo + other. But geo can also be a proxy for demographic targeting in the right circumstances.
TechCrunch in an interview with Millennial CEO Paul Palmieri says that the company is planning an IPO in 2011.
At the Mobile Beat conference Eric Tseng, head of mobile products for Facebook (and former Google-Android exec.), announced that Facebook now has 150 million "active" mobile users (that means daily usage). That's up from 100 million in February.
Against that backdrop there are indications that, at least in the US Facebook's growth, may have slowed. The company however sees mobile as a driver of its next phase of growth. Overall, there are more than 500 million Facebook users globally.
Tseng suggested that Facebook would soon become a "mobile platform." That means that Facebook will be extending "the social graph" to third party applications and sites. The Open Graph API and the Like button will also make their way into mobile according to Tseng.
Facebook is poised to roll out some sort of location-based service. Its exact form is uncertain. I've argued that instantly Facebook would be a huge mobile ad network should it decide that it wants to become one. Yet there are reasons to believe that won't happen in the near term.
Facebook's forthcoming Q&A service is also one that could be a potent location-based recommendations engine. And the Like button data will be a huge source of local favorites and recommendations. Third parties will be tapping all this data to enhance their apps and sites.
The company sees mobile devices as a growth engine party because in developing countries (e.g., India) mobile is the primary (and maybe only) tool for Internet acces. This is why Facebook developed its SMS-based "0.facebook.com" site earlier this year.
The car is the ultimate "mobile device" isn't it? And increasingly cars are becoming "connected" to the Internet. Google now has an impressive roster of car brands on a global basis to which users can send Google Maps directions.
According to the Google LatLong blog:
With today’s additions, drivers can send destinations from Google Maps directly to their connected vehicles in 19 countries and more than 20 different brands.
In the US alone, Send-To-Car is now available on more than 15 car brands and we hope to see even more partners join us soon.
On a smaller scale Mapquest and Nokia's Ovi Maps offer in-car integration. However Navteq (owned by Nokia) powers most of the PND devices that operate in vehicles in the US. In Europe it's Teleatlas, owned by TomTom.
Seeing an opportunity and trying to grab some attention from the Apple vs. Google debate/meme, ad network JumpTap is offering to let new customers (developers and publishers) keep 100% of ad revenue for a limited time:
The new program empowers mobile app developers and publishers to increase their revenue using the industry's most comprehensive array of ad solutions that run across any device -- including iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, and BlackBerry -- all from one ad network and one single point of integration.
The Jumptap Passport to Freedom Program establishes a $4 million fund for new customers who will get to keep 100 percent of their revenues through the rest of 2010 or until the fund is depleted -- whichever is sooner. Become an advertiser and reinvest the earnings and Jumptap will actually double the amount available for advertising dollars -- that's up to a 200 percent payout. To get started, new customers just sign up for an account; download the SDK and start earning money.
As the statement above indicates, the offer is limited to the exhaustion of a $4 million fund. This 100% of revenue tactic -- reminiscent of how Google spread AdSense in its early days -- is also being used by inMobi to acquire new publisher-developer clients.
Separately, despite all the bluster and hand-wringing around Apple's new terms of service, which appear to bar any advertising provider associated with an OS maker (Apple competitor), Apple has not in fact barred AdMob from iOS devices. Apple's devices reportedly constitute 30% of AdMob's revenues. According to Omar Hamoui, AdMob founder (now Google VP of Mobile Ads), quoted in the Wall Street Journal:
Apple hasn’t enforced the threat, “and we’re very appreciative of that,” he said.
A number of companies, including JumpTap, are trying to seize the recent uncertainty surrounding AdMob's continued operation on iOS devices. Hence the new program.
inMobi announced earlier this morning that it had raised $8 million in funding for a total of roughly $15 million.The company began in India in 2007 as "mKhoj." It launched in the US formally last month.
Many people in the industry haven't heard of inMobi yet it's the largest ad network globally other than Google-AdMob. Now inMobil is seeking to take AdMob's place as the leading independent mobile ad network.
The company says that it has "16.9 billion impressions monthly reaching 179 million consumers in 108 countries." Clients include Reebok, Microsoft, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Quaker Oats, Yamaha, Barclays, and Yahoo.
Source: inMobi internal traffic data
American employees of the company include former Yahoo VP Anne Frisbie, now head of inMobi North America and James Lamberti, formerly SVP of comScore, now VP of global marketing for the company. I spoke to both yesterday and they stressed to me that inMobi had a technology platform and scalability advantage over the majority of its competitors. They also said that it was best positioned among the independent networks -- inMobi is an ad network working directly with clients rather than a mediator or exchange -- in the Google vs. Apple advertising battle.
Lamberti said that inMobi would be releasing some very interesting data soon, which caused us to talk about mobile data more broadly. Both Frisbee and Lamberti criticized the quality of the third party mobile data available and the comScore and Nielsen methodologies. They said that GroundTruth probably had the best data in the US market but that it was incomplete.
Frisbee said that once you get out of the US and Europe (to a degree) third party data are not available as a general matter.
What's impressive is the way that inMobi has scaled globally in a relatively short time frame. Velti and Amobee, using somewhat different models, aspire to the same global scale and reach.
With Google having bought AdMob that leaves Yahoo and Microsoft as potential buyers of ad networks. However, in addition, the major advertising holding companies, many of which have acquired small mobile agencies, are also potential acquirors of mobile ad networks and exchanges. Then there are the carriers . . . but they're unlikely to play directly in mobile advertising despite their past flirtations.
Yahoo offers its second look at iPad users on the Yahoo network and Yahoo apps. There's nothing dramatic that the company finds but there are some interesting observations about behavior and audience composition:
The user base continues to skew male, but is becoming more gender-balanced; the male to female ratio moved from 2:1 to 3:2:
The sweet spot for [the iPad] user base continues to be in the 30–54 age range, and that about half of the Yahoo! iPad users have been using Yahoo! for at least six years (see charts below).
Regarding international iPad usage, gender and age distribution are very similar to the US.
In general, the male skew is the same internationally as it is in the U.S., though it is stronger in Japan, where male users outnumber women 4:1. Similarly, the 35–44 age cohort is the largest among all international iPad users on Yahoo!.
These data suggest, among other things, that there are more similarities than differences among early iPad buyers around the globe.
The recently released Pew mobile report featured some interesting data at the end on eReaders and tablets:
These figures illustrate the difficulty and peril of self-reported data and extrapolating that to the larger population. For example, if 3% of US adults (out of a total of about 228 million) actually owned a "tablet computer" that would mean 6.8 million people in the US own them.
The iPad has globally sold something more than 3 million units. Unless people didn't understand what is/was meant by the term tablet computer the survey results overstate the market. There are effectively no other tablets on the market today, except for a couple of isolated Android tablet devices that really haven't penetrated. Windows-based "tablet PCs" have largely failed and so can't be assumed to be part of this response.
Does this inflated result cast some doubt on the larger survey findings? I think directionally they're certainly accurate but may be imprecise, despite the claim of a survey margin of error "plus or minus 2.4 percentage points."
There's already been much discussion of some early advertising metrics on the iPad. The following results were published a couple of days ago by ad mediator AdMarvel (owned by Opera), TextPlus and PointRoll (owned by publisher Gannett):
Campaigns that ran the first four weeks after the iPad launch delivered average interaction times across advertisers of 30 seconds, and as high as 53 seconds for one advertiser. Time spent with each ad correlated with the amount of content included in the ads.
In addition, interaction rates (measuring the number of people tapping to expand and engaging with the ads, as a percentage of impressions) ranged from .9% to 1.5% in the first month of the campaign, up to 6 times the benchmark for comparable click-to-expand ads on the desktop. In addition, 67% of users who viewed a video component of the ad in the app watched it all the way through, compared to 53% completion rate for desktop. These findings show that the iPad can be a successful supplement to a 360-degree campaign across devices to strengthen and further lift audience engagement.
(Emphasis added; see ad demo.)
Dynamic Logic and Insight Express have both shown that mobile ads consistently outperform PC advertising across a wide range of metrics and brand indicators. The question of course is whether the increased engagement and metrics are the byproduct of novelty or whether these platforms are going to consistently deliver better performance over time.
Some of this better performance is clearly novelty but other factors such as less ad clutter and greater "share of voice" on pages make for higher engagement and improved response. Websites on the PC or "fixed" Internet have become a veritable wasteland of clutter and low quality ad content. That's partly why Apple's Safari 5 enables users to eliminate ads from the page.
Even as the Internet has fragmented audiences and eroded if not destroyed some traditional media (e.g., newspapers), online advertising, with the exception of search and one or two other areas, has largely failed.
The iPad is not a PC, nor is it really a mobile device in the same form as a smartphone. It's more of a portable PC with apps. We still don't have enough data to know how people use and will use the iPad and its many forthcoming rivals. In my house it has taken time from PC exposure but it's much more a "leisure" or "lean back" device than the PC, which is mostly utilitarian.
If that use case holds generally for tablets it could be that people will be more receptive to display and rich media ads on them vs. the PC.
The anomaly that is Apple just threw down another challenge to third-party application developers who look to mobile advertisements as the ultimate source of sustainability. Terms and conditions in the newly updated iPhone Developer Program License Agreement (which has been revised in conjunction with the release of iOS 4) starts with the wording that developers "may not collect, use, or disclose to any third party, user or device data without prior user consent" and then adds further strictures which, in the most damning case for many of the aspiring analytics providers, prohibit release for the purposes of "aggregation, processing, or analysis".
While the change in wording appears to be a broad prohibition against third-party analytics, it is most commonly seen as a direct attack on AdMob, the mobile advertising services company recently purchased by Google. Apple will only let developers release user information to a third-party only if it is "an independent advertising service provider whose primary business is serving mobile ads." In other words, not an affiliate of the largest provider of sponsored search services on the planet. To turn the knife a bit, or perhaps to provide transparency, Apple provides examples of the sorts of third-parties that are not, by their nature, "independent", saying explicitly that "an advertising service provider owned by or affiliated with a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems or development environments other than Apple would not qualify as independent."
If you take as a given that advertisers are often the companies with whom mobile subscribers want to carry out business, this is not an empowering move. Apple apparently doesn't think that it is in the iPhone user's interest to share data with third-parties even if the user consents to it, especially if release of such data might benefit Google, Microsoft, Nokia or dozens of other firms that pose direct threats to Apple's vain efforts for smartphone primacy.
Clearly, there will be work-arounds and arrangements to be made in the name of providing relevant messages (promotional, social, realtime or other) to Apple's mobile customers. Still, the message is clear. None of this will take place without prior consent from both Apple on behalf of its iOS-based device users.
Jumptap announced this morning that it had joined the ranks of mobile video ad networks. It now claims to be the most comprehensive of the mobile ad networks in terms of its available ad formats:
Jumptap, the leading provider of mobile advertising solutions, today announced the addition of video to its premium mobile ad network. A pioneer in mobile advertising, the addition of video uniquely positions Jumptap as the only network to offer all mobile advertising solutions including search, display, rich media, video and in-app advertising – all from one platform.
The company will be offering the following types of video units:
Click-to-video (or tap-to-video), video interstitials (which can run either before an application loads or in between content sections), and in-stream video ads (pre, post, or mid-roll)
Separately, rich media ad network GreyStripe and Adobe announced a collaboration to enable ads that are created in Flash to be converted to HTML5 and run on iOS and Android devices:
The ad solution is comparable to Apple’s recently introduced iAds unit; however, unlike iAds, they will be authored with Adobe® Flash® authoring tools, priced at a fraction of the cost, and come in both expandable banner and full screen interstitial formats. Since Flash is the standard for developing rich media digital advertising, these solutions will give brand advertisers and digital agencies the ability to retain full control over ad development, reduce costs by preserving existing workflows while enabling support for HTML5, provide advertisers reach across all major desktop and mobile platforms, and decrease the time between ad concept and delivery.
This approach will be cheered by publishers, agencies and developers and will buy them some time, but it's an interim solution. Flash is being replaced by HTML5.
Velti began almost a decade ago in Greece and Europe as a mobile platform and technology play. Today the company has evolved into a full-service mobile advertising and marketing company with last year's launch of its MGage marketplace. The company's vision is to be a soup-to-nuts provider of mobile advertising and marketing solutions, from loyalty, CRM and SMS services to mobile ad campaign development and analytics.
A little over a year ago Velti bought AdInfuse for its client base and technology:
Ad Infuse’ s leading mobile ad serving and routing technology platforms enable advertisers, publishers, brands, and operators to place mobile ads on multiple networks and manage them in real-time. Ad Infuse works with leading advertisers, publishers, and operators in the US and Europe, including: Procter & Gamble, Dell, Disney, Swisscom, France Telecom, Orange and Microsoft.
Earlier today Velti announced that it acquired San Francisco-Bay Area based Media Cannon for an undisclosed amount. This appears to be an extension of the thinking and strategy that resulted in the AdInfuse acquisition last year:
This acquisition provides Velti with a complementary technology platform and proprietary solutions that enable an even richer mobile advertising and mobile Internet user experience, as well as a series of mobile marketing “post click” interactions. The Media Cannon platform also delivers carrier-class infrastructure, API access, transcoding . . .
In addition to technology, Velti is buying a client base and revenue: "well-known brands, advertising agencies and Tier-1 wireless carriers in the U.S.," according to the press release.
Both the AdInfuse and Media Cannon acquisitions have raised Velti's US and general North American presence and profile. Velti's ultimate vision is to enable marketers, publishers and technology providers to plug in to Velti's wide ranging mobile "marketplace." The company currently has operationsin 35 countries and claims to be the world's largest mobile marketing company.
However it still has a way to go to achieve the visibility and "credibility" of some of the more familiar US based ad networks: AdMob, JumpTap, Millennial, etc.
Amobee is pursuing a very similar course and strategic vision.
Separately Google announced that its beta program AdSense for Mobile Apps would support third party ad mediators (e.g., Nexage, AdMarvel, AdWhirl, Smaato) enabling ad inventory from other networks to be accessed through the program. One of the benefits to developers is one SDK to access all these networks. One of the potential mediators AdWhirl is owned by AdMob, which is now owned by Google.
In coordination with the Google announcement, AdMob said that developers and publishers could use AdWhirl to access AdSense for Mobile Apps as well as the full range of ad networks:
Today we’re launching full AdWhirl support for Google’s AdSense for Mobile Applications for iPhone apps. This makes it easier for iPhone developers who are participating in Google’s AdSense for Mobile Applications betato set up AdSense in AdWhirl. AdSense joins AdMob, iAd, Jumptap, MdotM, Millennial Media, and Quattro Wireless as AdWhirl’s seventh fully supported iPhone ad network. Today’s launch comes hot on the heels of our announcement last week of full AdWhirl support for Millennial Media for Android apps.
Each network and mediator appears to be seeking to be a gateway or doorway to the others.
One question is: who's going to own the advertiser and publisher relationships in all this? Another question is: will mobile advertising be "commoditized" in the same way that online display advertising largely has?
LSN Mobile describes itself as "the nation's largest network of local TV news content for mobile users." The company announced this morning that it had expanded from the iPhone and Android onto the BlackBerry platform. LSN has built an impressive network of local TV apps and sites that extend into all US DMAs.
The company also claims 200 million page views and 35 million unique visitors a month.
LSN Mobile builds apps for local TV affiliates and then delivers supplemental content into those apps. Both the local TV affiliate and LSN can sell ads into the app or network and split the revenue. This is the same model that Verve Wireless uses in the newspaper segment. It's also comparable to the way that Quattro started, as an app developer and host.
Not waiting or wanting to be upstaged by the launch of iAds, Google-owned AdMob is introducing new ad formats for the iPad. These new formats include text, tile and image ads. The company will also be rolling out interactive HTML5 ads in the near future:
AdMob was one of the first companies to launch ad units for both iPhone and Android applications, and now we’re helping to drive innovation on the iPad. We consider today’s launch of text & tile and image ads for iPad native apps to just be the starting point. We’re always thinking about what’s next and working to leverage the unique capabilities of mobile platforms to create engaging ad experiences. With that in mind, we’ve put together a sneak preview of the creative potential of iPad ads using HTML5.
AdMob put together what a mock up of what such an ad might look like:
While digital creative has a way to go, though is improving, for smartphones, agencies and marketers' creative efforts may really shine on the larger screen and accompanying formats made possible by the iPad.
Millennial Media just released its April SMART report. The company is now putting out two reports: Mobile Mix, which discusses devices and share on its network, and SMART, which is about advertiser tactics and categories.
Here are a few interesting excerpts from the April SMART document.
Ten percent of advertisers in the "restaurants & retail" category used a coupon offer of some sort, according to Millennial.
Below is a drill down on that category and the various calls to action offered in the campaigns. We can probably count "retail promotion" in the deals/coupons category as well. In addition the "join/subscribe" call to action here will probably be teased in many instances by the promise of future discounts and deals notifications I'm guessing:
Finally here are the top advertising categories on the Millennial network:
One thing that's somewhat surprising and interesting is that only 16% of campaigns are using any sort of geo-targeting given that mobile offers it with precision. This likely reflects concerns over lack of audience reach with geo-targeted campaigns or perhaps the inability of agencies to formulate geo-targeted campaigns for one reason or another.
Millennial data also suggest that marketers are using mobile at or near the point of sale to capture emails and other data for future marketing purposes ("join/subscribe" and "submit form"). However their campaigns don't seem to equally be pushing users to the point of sale to drive purchases. I could be misinterpreting the data but if I'm correct is a missed opportunity.
AdMob is now officially going to be a part of Google and so we'll have to see how that changes or affects its monthly metrics reporting. This month's data compare iPhoneOS devices vs. Android devices on a global basis. According to AdMob there are roughly 11.6 million Android devices around the world. That compares with just over 27 million iPhones or a total of roughly 40 million iPhoneOS devices, when the iPod Touch and iPad are considered. If we assume that there are about 2 million iPads now in the market that leaves about 11 million iPod Touch devices sold.
The iPhone itself has largely stalled in North America (awaiting the "4G" iPhone), while Android is growing. However, outside the US the iPhone is doing quite well. The major caveat to the data below that the AdMob network is not identical to the mobile Internet and all numbers must be taken as directional and not absolute.
Taken verbatim from the AdMob report here's what the company says about the global distribution of devices:
While the iPhone is still driving the greatest share of requests vs. any other individual device, Android is now more broadly represented on AdMob's network. Again these numbers are not synonymous with smartphone market share objectively speaking; they reflect only AdMob's network.
But compare the chart (US smartphone share) above to the one from exactly a year ago:
What the comparison above shows is the evaporation of Windows Mobile an even the dramatic shrinking of RIM's representation on AdMob's network. However it's important to also point out that BlackBerry remains the leading smartphone in the US market in terms of installed units.
Finally the abundance of Android handsets in China is ironic because Google officially has exited the market (at least for now), so these devices don't provide Google search volumes there. Google had previously seen Android as a way to gain share vs. rival Baidu, which is now effectively a monopoly in China.
As expected today Yahoo! and Nokia announced a strategic alliance. As part of that the two will incorporate selected services into each other's offerings:
The integration will begin later this year and roll out globally in 2011. Ads and search, interestingly, don't appear to be part of the deal. The deal does, however, offer Yahoo! a solution for its mapping product -- a product that had led the market initially but has now fallen way behind Google and Microsoft. Nokia gets additional credibility and reach for its Ovi Maps, powered by subsidiary Navteq.
It's curious to me that the press release and related materials are silent on the question of search and advertising.
Navteq has built/is building its own ad network. Does Navteq get to put ads on Ovi Maps on Yahoo!? And one would think that Yahoo! would have sought to be the "default" search engine for Nokia handsets.
I'm trying to find out more about these areas and will update this post if I get more information from Yahoo!
Update: I just got this from a Yahoo! spokesperson:
Search is not part of the initial agreement announced today. The two companies will work on future collaborations. The companies plan to monetize the services in the future.
Let's consider what might be the most intriguing mobile aspect of this deal from a Yahoo! perspective: Yahoo! branded turn-by-turn navigation. Google Navigation is a terrific app. Ovi Maps has tried to match it and claims better data and routing (vis-a-vis Navteq). Yahoo! could potentially just co-brand Ovi Maps and throw in some additional Yahoo! Local content along the way.
I would be surprised if Yahoo! didn't see this opportunity and want to develop it. That, combined with the chance to make Yahoo! (PC) Maps better probably justifies this entire deal.
Google was busy grabbing most of the headlines today with its Android 2.2 "Froyo" update and the dramatic Google TV announcement (which is built on Android). But Yahoo! also made a mobile-related announcement about the introduction of more creatively engaging rich media units. According to the Yahoo! Mobile Blog:
Mobile display ads generally take the form of static banners across the top and bottom of the screen. Although behavioral targeting has drastically increased the effectiveness of all display ads, it has been challenging to engage mobile users at the same level as desktop. With advancements in smartphone technology and the next generation of HTML5 browsers, it is now possible to display highly engaging and interactive Rich Media content on high-end mobile devices.
While there has been a lot of buzz about HTML5, much of the investment has been focused on mobile web development. Many mobile sites have been upgraded to feature compelling interactive content for smartphone users. However from an advertiser point of view, banner campaigns remain the norm. At Yahoo!, we believe the Rich Media experience starts before the click and encompasses the transition to an advertiser’s landing page. This new class of mobile display format bridges the gap between traditional banners and landing pages with creative executions of interactive advertisements.
Here's one example of one of the units:
Google also demo'd rich media ad units today at its developer conference. And of course Apple is trying to build more engaging ads for mobile devices with iAds. AdMob, Greystripe and others offer rich media units as well.
Mobile Web ads have greater reach than in-app advertising and are generally recognized as "more effective," though that's problematic when drilling down into the metrics used to determine effectiveness.
Hybrid awareness-direct response (buy tickets) ads, like the one above, are going to be increasingly common. And the "takeover" (though not involuntary) creative above will give agencies more latitude to develop better mobile display campaigns.