Now that Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has been making strong inroads into consolidating its hold on the PC-based display marketplace through its DoubleClick Ad Exchange, it is ready to bring in-app ad formats to its exchange platform.
While mobile advertising in general is expected to hit $1 billion by the end of this year, it’s still a fraction of the $30 billion spent on web ads annually. Still, mobile is one of the fastest growing areas of online advertising, and within that, in-app ads will certainly begin to show some movement against more established mobile formats like messaging and search. At the moment, Google already gets 15 percent of its display inventory from the mobile web, a sign that apps are still not quite mainstream.
Up to now, most major magazine and newspaper publishers see the value of apps as extending consumer sales and circulation. Ad spending on apps have been slow to match the pace of app download sales, ad sellers say. The audience scale and the lack of dominant standards for formats and measurements continue to lag.
But Google plans to be ready once the public and marketers embrace in-app ads. So far, the space has some problems to overcome. As a survey of 4,000 app users late last year by ad tech firm Pontiflex showed, about half say they are more apt to click a mobile ad by mistake than they do on purpose.
As more money flows into in-app ads, the measurement and the experience for both marketers and consumers should improve quickly. Google has already lined up Publicis Groupe digital media buying hub VivaKi, one of its major DoubleClick Ad Ex buyers, to commit some of its clients’ budgets to in-app ads on the Google platform.
“We are delighted to be working with Google as they open up the DoubleClick Ad Exchange to include AdMob in-app inventory, and to deliver this opportunity to our clients,” said Kurt Unkel, SVP, VivaKi Nerve Center, in a statement. “We anticipate this experience will help us bring mobile to scale to our partners, and will provide insight into the operational elements and the creative assets that work best in this environment.”
In terms of Google’s own display heft, the company is expected to see that segment top $1 billion for the first time in 2011, as the search giant’s share of overall U.S. display revenues grows to 9.3 percent, eMarketer estimates, up from an 8.6% share in 2010.
Aside from mistaken clicks, one of the problems display has experienced in its smartphone formats, is that the smaller screen space is very limited. To compensate, a number of ad networks have a variety of formats for marketers to choose from in order to match up with the dizzying array of handsets.
To keep things simple, for now at least, Google will limit sizes for in-app ads to a 320 by 50 pixels, said Chip Hall, director, DoubleClick Ad Exchange, in an interview with paidContent. The move is as much meant to expand Google’s mobile advertising efforts, as well as its general ad exchange offerings.
“This announcement has less to do with any one platform and more with the natural growth of the media universe,” Hall said. “When advertising on the web first started taking off, it had less to do with just focusing on Windows, Apple or Unix. Advertising only works if it’s cross-platform, cross-formats. Apps are growing and it’s simply another area of digital advertising that marketers need to reach out to.” More details Google