Aug 31, 2010

Time To Survey Mobile Media How Mobile Ad Networks Can Bring In Traffic Cheap

Written by : Tom George| 0 | Mobile

Thomas here,

My prediction of the next three big developments and areas of opportunity include Mobile Advertising and Mobile Ad networks, along with inbound advertising and positional based social media enhancements, and really the convergence of the three. With Mobile Ad Networks, although there are many similarities there are many differences, from AdMob to Microsoft to YOC, let’s look at 15 of the world’s top networks. If you are a publisher this is a great untapped source of cheap traffic, a traffic source that hasn’t been Googlefied yet, but how do you choose a network?

Welcome to Internet Billboards, where we are pioneering inbound advertising. Inbound advertising is really just the concept of how things find you more now when you want them to, like news and products, and is all driven by social media and yes soon to be driven even more by mobile media on ad networks and positional GPS ads, like you are in the proximity of Best Buy, and so Best Buy will know that and they will send you an ad to your smart phone kind of thing. Anyway thats for another post, here is some real and detailed information required when choosing a network. All data is supplied directly by the networks.

The announcement of Google’s acquisition of AdMob, and then Apples acquisition of Quatro Wireless for use of the iAd advertising platform, has sparked a massive interest in mobile ad networks. Did you know there are currently about 5 billion cell phone users and only around 75 million Smartphone’s? This is great because there is an enormous room for growth in this seemingly untapped marketplace for publishers to get cheap traffic, and consumers can get some great value on the go.  

So what is the best mobile network for you?

Three facts you need to know about mobile ad networks:

  1. No ad network is dominant.
    This is still a very fragmented market. There are at least 10 mobile ad networks in the US alone.
  2. No one really knows what ad network is biggest.
    The only way to tell is by revenue and no network reveals revenue data. What you read about market share or revenue are estimates, if not pure guesswork. And as we all know, size isn’t everything…
  3. Mobile ad networks are not created alike.
    In fact you are unlikely to find two networks alike. Choose a partner (or a number of partners) that suits your requirements, target market, geography and budget.

MobiThinking a company that put together the actual list divides networks into three categories, based on the business model. At one extreme there are blind networks (see definitions below), which mostly work on cost-per-click (CPC) basis; at the other extreme are those networks that focus on premium publishers, which mostly work on cost-per-thousand impressions, and then there are those in between. Clearly there is some overlap.

The mobile ad networks









Millennial Media

Quattro Wireless



Microsoft Mobile Advertising

Nokia Interactive Advertising

Pudding Media

YOC Group


What are blind, premium blind or premium networks? For the uninitiated, the following will also be an introduction to the commonly used jargon and acronyms…

Blind networks are usually the largest in terms of publishers, advertisers and impressions. They serve a high volume of advertising to an extensive base of mostly independent mobile publishers (mobile sites and applications), supplemented by premium publishers’ unfilled inventory.

They offer plenty of options for targeting such as by country and content channels (news, sports etc), but do not (usually) allow advertisers to choose specific Websites.

Performance advertising is the norm, paid for by cost per click (CPC) – this is for marketers who want an active response to their ads such as clicking through a banner to the advertiser’s site, click to download/call etc. The CPC varies with supply and demand, determined through a self-service auction system. The cheapest option is run of network (RON) adverts (i.e. no targeting), which in some countries may start at US$0.01 CPC.

Some blind networks also offer brand advertising, on a cost per thousand impressions (CPM) model – i.e. you pay X for every 1,000 devices that visit/download the page – this is for marketers that want exposure, perhaps to create awareness of a new product.

Advertisers should expect a wealth of self-service tools that help you track and optimize your campaign in real time.

Publishers receive a revenue share, perhaps 55-65 percent of what the advertiser pays.

Read the profiles of: Admoda/Adultmoda; AdMob; BuzzCity; InMobi

Premium blind networks tend to be medium-sized, with a higher proportion of premium publishers (i.e. big-traffic mobile sites of well-known brands, perhaps newspapers, broadcasters or operator portals), some on exclusive relationships. These networks attract a higher proportion of brand advertising, paid for on CPM basis. A lot of advertising will still be blind or semi-blind (i.e. targeted at a channel), but for a premium price you may be able to buy a specific spot on a site of your choice. Costs vary considerably – quotes can be as high as US$20 CPM.

Performance advertising is also available – and in some cases, search advertising (based on key words) – paid for by CPC. Some networks offer cost per action/acquisition (CPA) – where the advertiser only pays if the customer clicks through and then buys, signs up etc.

Advertisers should expect a mix of self-service and direct sales and support and lots of targeting options.

Read the profiles of: Millennial Media; Jumptap; Madhouse; Quattro Wireless.

Premium networks focus on a limited number of prestige publishers – mobile operators and big-name destinations – for which they are akin to an extension of their direct-sales team. In the case of Nokia and AOL, much of the mobile inventory they sell is on Nokia or AOL sites.

The predominant (maybe only) pricing model is CPM, as the majority of campaigns are brand advertising.

Premium networks attract big brand advertisers who are prepared to pay premium prices to secure the prime locations on top-tier mobile destinations. This means CPM will vary wildly from US$5-US$75.

Advertisers should expect more direct sales and support, than self-service and a wealth of targeting options.

Publishers should expect to receive a majority share of advertising revenue, perhaps 50–70 percent. Deals are usually negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

Read the profiles of: Microsoft Mobile Advertising; YOC Group;; Nokia Interactive Advertising; Pudding Media.

I would like to thank MobiThinking for their contribution to this article post.

I purchased the Mobile Monopoly course for $77.00

and it is highly recommended 


Also be sure to join the Social Success Club,

see the box to the right click and join OK. 

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Tom George

Founder and CEO of Internet Billboards. A futurist and serial entrepreneur, as well as a professional fitness trainer, martial artist, and business strategist. Helped to develop inbound advertising. An avid content curator who enjoys finding those digital gems out there in cyberspace and sharing them with others.
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  • Absolutely correct. I couldn’t agree with you more. So are you a developer for mobile applications? What do you think of the next post I shared below? Why Google+ is Kicking Facebook’s Ass?

  • Mobile advertising is definitely one of the most looked market for the coming years to make most out of the platform. After the launch of number of android based mobile phones we can make most out of the platform by utilizing application prepared especially for mobile.

Content Curator

Tom George

Founder and CEO of Internet Billboards. A futurist and serial entrepreneur, as well as a professional fitness trainer, martial artist, and business strategist. Helped to develop inbound advertising. An avid content curator who enjoys finding those digital gems out there in cyberspace and sharing them with others.

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