Apps advertising: the new holy grail?

Nov. 10, 2009 | by Gregory Damas

Yesterday Google acquired Admob for $750 million. So what does that California based company do? They are specialised in Mobile display and more precisely apps advertising. The success of those bite-size software programs doesn’t need to be demonstrated: Apple announced last week that developers have now created over 100,000 applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch.  Furthermore, Steve Jobs also announced last August that 60 million iPhone apps had been downloaded, averaging 2 million per day!

60 million iPhone apps downloaded? Wow that must be representing a lot…

…of free ones. So how are those free apps monitised? Well, in a way there’s no suprise here; through advertising.

The advertising formats which are used on Apple’s smartphone are quite familiar to what we know and several ad network/platforms are already available:

That sounds interesting…but how does it work?

Usually, app ads are clickable banner, which either link to an iPhone-optimised microsite.


Of course, as with traditional formats, analytics solutions are available for more insights (Impression, CTR, revenue etc…).

How lucrative can iPhone apps ads be?

According to a report from the mobile advertising company AdWhirl, iPhone apps can make between $400 and $5,000 a day on ads. However those figures only concern the top 100 (out of 100, 000 remember?) and the success story of developer Steve Demeter is rather rare. Therefore most of free iPhone apps don’t make money.

The future?

Apps advertising is still fairly recent and some trials have shown to be quite fruitless.

However yesterday’s acquisition only confirms the fantastic monetisation opportunity of this new format.

And as Gartner sees Google’s Android being 2nd (ahead the iPhone) in terms of Smartphone OS market share in 2012, this move was indeed indubitably logical.

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    Comments (3)

    • Henry Barnes

      Mobile advertising would continue to grow as more and more mobile phone users get hooked on texting and mobile browsing.*:,Jul 9, 2010 07:07 pm

    • Jason Ryan

      As Ian Schafer points out, this deal isnt all bout the advertising - its also about the data.

      With this acquisition, Google now has access to usage data of many of the most popular mobile apps--including the apps in the iTunes App Store. If Google is taking on Apple for mobile OS market share, this deal gives them huge competitive advantage as they  will know more details than ever about how people are using iPhone apps, how they are engaging with advertising within those apps, and users' loyalty to those apps.

      There is an ongoing conversation about how much of our personal data Google has access to. Now, even if you don't own an Android phone, Google will be able to collect data on your mobile usage.
      Nov 11, 2009 02:47 pm

    • Kashmira

      Good post, Greg. It will be interesting to see a change in user behaviour over the next few months... as people start to get more savvy with mobile ads and learn how to get the most out of them.Nov 10, 2009 12:08 pm

    Please note: the opinions expressed in this post represent the views of the individual, not necessarily those of iCrossing.

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