Google has acquired a leading firm in mobile advertising, causing observers to think that mobile advertising will take off in a big way. The growing popularity of the iPhone and other powerful mobile devices ensures that mobile ads will become more ubiquitous, but predictions for the growth of the business vary widely. “We see mobile as a huge growth opportunity for us,” Susan Wojcicki, vice president for product management at Google, said in an interview. “We see an opportunity working with AdMob to really accelerate our efforts in an important industry for Google.” Google is already ahead of its rivals, Microsoft and Yahoo, in one segment of the mobile advertising business: ads linked to search queries.
This colloquium was conducted by Puree Sirasoonthorn. The objective of this paper is to examine the business model that BuzzCity operationalizes in Thailand. BuzzCity is a developer of global wireless communities and consumer services. Established in 1999 in Singapore, BuzzCity today operates the world’s leading wireless community – for two distinct audiences: the newly connected emerging middle class in developing markets and the blue collar sector in developed regions. These “unwired” consumers are accessing the mobile Internet on their phones due to widespread and affordable wireless access The number of myGamma users in Thailand is 110, 000.
I may be wrong, not having conducted a systematic study of mobile advertising in Sri Lanka, but the impression I have is that while there is plenty of it, it’s all about calling to maintain relationships if not about price/quality aspects. In the short term this works, because this is where people’s heads are. But unless there is more money in people’s pockets, it’s unlikely that the mobile operators will be able to continue to make money in the long run. Voice is getting commodified and profits are declining. People are not taking up more-than-voice services because they do not have money and see mobile as a consumption good.
The Economist, which has been quite skeptical about mobile advertising, has a story which reports takeoff has occurred. What I find interesting is the analysis of which roadblocks have been removed. Here, the relevance of the broadband quality of service experience work we have been doing is noteworthy. Assuming that mobile operators want ad revenues (not a hard assumption), this shows that it is in their interest to improve the quality of service experience from the dismal levels that exist today. Faster networks and lower rates also help.
Miguel Helft October 11, 2007, New York Times For more than two years, a large group of engineers at Google have been working in secret on a mobile-phone project. As word of their efforts has trickled out, expectations in the tech world for what has been called the Google phone, or GPhone, have risen, the way they do for Apple loyalists before a speech by Steve Jobs. But the GPhone is not likely to be the second coming of the iPhone and Google’s goals are very different from Apple’s. Google wants to extend its dominance of online advertising to the mobile internet, a small market today but one that is expected to grow rapidly. It hopes to persuade wireless carriers and mobile-phone makers to offer phones based on its software, according to people briefed on the project.