Monday, July 16, 2007

Here it comes: Google Adsense for mobile!

Regular participants in this conversation will know I've long been an advocate of the idea that the long tail will shake the mobile internet dog (much earlier, and therefore acquiring significantly more influence, than it did on the fixed line web).
Google Adsense was the critical driver in the explosion of content on the fixed line web (it's one thing to create content left right and centre - quite another to get paid for it).
So the wait for google adsense or its equivalent to deploy on mobile has been pregnant with anticipation.
Well, now it's here.
A very reputable source told me on Friday (July 13, 2007) that in fact it had been available for a couple of weeks. And a quick scan around the blogosphere this morning reveals it is just starting testing with invited mobile content publishers (try here).
In my view, this is a very significant moment (please share what you think by adding a comment).
In combination with the arrival of the I-Phone and Youtube going properly mobile (in June) I think we'll end up looking back at the middle of 2007 as the tipping point of the mobile web.
Admob has already shown how taking the marketplace approach and making their code easy for publishers to deploy - gives long tail content creators a way of earning revenue for their efforts. As a result they are busily co-creating the new value emerging from the mobile internet (4billion ads served so far and currently adding around 1billion more a month).
And their biggest revenue earners are the likes of peperonity, itsmy... in other words User Generated Content in the classic long tail model.
But Admob can't serve in-context related ads. Yet (I'm told a version 2.0 is on its way...)
It's very hard to do for all sorts of very interesting technical reasons. So that makes their ads, despite their text-link design, more interruption than engagement. (though, to be fair to Admob, you can select which sites you want to serve on - and with increasing specialisation (into niches) that may well give a decent approximation of engagement).
However, if google adsense has cracked in-context, related (as it does on the fixed web) then there will be a better match between the 'advert' and the content. It closes the gap between the two. It makes it more engaging.
Both Admob and Google Adsense learned an early lesson many website operators would do well to consider - banners don't work. Text links do. They become part of the (albeit stilted) conversation. Translation: Interruption doesn't get response, Engagement does.

So now we have the staggering marketing power of Apple and the I-Phone, PLUS the global call to action (get a fixed rate data plan - get a 3G phone) of youtube to speed up the charge to mobile (pervasive if you prefer) computing.

AND on top of that there's now an easy-for-everyone AND engaging revenue model, too (Adsense).

Just watch mobile internet go now!

Make sure you are looking in the right direction (towards UGC) or you won't see it coming until it's way too late...

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?