Google’s Android all about the ads?

“One of the most formidable challenges facing Google is likely sitting in your pocket or purse. It’s your cell phone, and it will put added pressure on Google and other Internet companies to revamp the way they handle online marketing,” Ben Kunz reports for BusinessWeek.

“Google can now fit about 10 ads on a standard computer screen. (If you look at Google search results on a PC monitor, paid ads are the listings at the very top and along the right.) But on your cell phone, if you type in a search query at google.com you get only one or two paid ads in response,” Kunz reports. “Imagine the horror that would befall your business if a large slice of what you sell suddenly disappeared. A similar fate could befall companies that depend on online advertising, as small screens become the gateway to the Internet.”

“It was Apple, a frequent Google collaborator, that tipped the trend. Consumer use of mobile Internet in the U.S. has longed trailed Asia and Europe, where standardized cell networks made it easier for handset makers to produce gadgets that tap the Web at blazingly fast speeds,” Kunz reports. “But in the summer of 2007, Apple rocked America by launching the iPhone. The computer maker wasn’t the first to put the Web on phones, but for many consumers, the iPhone made the experience more robust.”

“Google will try to expand ad ‘shelf space,’ especially by redesigning cell-phone software… A few scratched their heads as to why Google would get into the cell-phone interface business. But now it’s clear; Web screens will soon be two inches wide, and Google wants a say in what fits on that tiny screen,” Kunz reports.

“Our bet is that the new Android interface will encourage mobile device users to flick through multiple layers or pages, similar to the iPhone album-art menu. This will create more room for ads. Expanding the visual ad inventory will be crucial for Google, as evidenced by the recent announcement that it will begin selling small display ads on cell-phone screens,” Kunz reports.

Full article here.

23 Comments

  1. “”Google will try to expand ad ‘shelf space,’ especially by redesigning cell-phone software… A few scratched their heads as to why Google would get into the cell-phone interface business. But now it’s clear; Web screens will soon be two inches wide, and Google wants a say in what fits on that tiny screen,” Kunz reports.”

    That Kunz is a bright lad.

    He may not be right — or Google may have other reasons as well — but this is a plausible suggestion. Essentially, ads are how Google makes its money. How could it not be thinking about how what device you’ll use will affect that?

  2. you know I heard all this crap about how Google’s Android phone will displace the iPhone. You know it hasn’t materialized – Apple is about to release their next version of the iPhone and I have not seen one Google phone…Has anyone seen or even used an Android?

  3. Ads are a fact of life, and marketers like Google are going to figure out ways to have ads placed in front of you as often as possible. The posts here say they don’t like ads, but face facts – ads work and get people interested in products/services to buy.

    Google’s certainly not dying to become a software company like Microsoft. Google has been extremely successful in handling advertising for companies without many people realizing that various links on pages are even ads. Why would Google let the mobile device market move on by without trying to grab the advertising share for itself?

  4. @ Ron
    Are you talking about the Apple TV?

    No, I’m writing about my Pioneer Elite plasma TV. The best! It would be even better if I didn’t have to mute the crap ads all the time. They blast out at many more decibels than the program being watched.

  5. I hate ads, I really do. but I love google. and I love all of the great free access to stuff we have on the internet. and that is only possible from ad revenue. so, I’ll cope. but I hate ads… (did I mention that?) but I know why they’re there, so it’s okay.

  6. Ad-driven Google phones make sense, if the phones come free, and the data rates are free. Thus, you only pay for your voice minutes. Then, customers have a choice, like paying for ad-free tv programming on AppleTV, or watching ad-driven tv programming on HULU, and others.

  7. Google– sure it makes sense for Google to protect its business model by extending it to cell devices. I can’t imagine, however, cell users jumping for joy at the thought of ads on their phones. Maybe Android will be offered on ‘free’ phones that are subsidized by Google. Like television, the ads pay for the free content if you are willing to put up with it.

    @Ron– It’s true, television commercials are often broadcast at a higher decibel on the theory that people leave the room for a snack or bathroom break when they are on. They don’t want you to miss them even if you want to miss them. Very annoying to have to pick up the remote at each break to turn the damn things down. What bugs me is that even on subscription channels like HBO, where there are not supposed to be commercials, you still get inundated with HBO programming commercials. Hey HBO, Showtime, et al, if you’ve got time to fill, put in a short film or something entertaining, not commercials for programs coming next month!

  8. @ silverwarloc:

    Nobody wants them on web sites either, but that doesn’t stop them from showing up there… except of course, for those of us who have installed ad blockers ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  9. “I can’t imagine, however, cell users jumping for joy at the thought of ads on their phones.”

    Well, it all depends.

    Obviously, there are things I don’t want. I don’t want a “Your call will be completed right after this message from Taco Bell.” I don’t want to be walking down the street and have my phone buzz, telling me that there’s a big sale at store across the way.

    The ads shouldn’t be intrusive.

    That said, if I’m standing on the street googling for good restaurants, I have no problem with Google showing me an ad for the place around the corner. If I’m sitting in the car dealership and I check out new Acuras, I have no problem seeing an ad telling me that the Acura dealer two towns over has the same kind of car I’m looking for at a price 10% less than what the salesman just quoted me.

    You want to catch the customer when they’re looking for information–say, doing an Internet search or something…

  10. Me: “We don’t need no stinkin’ ads.” Herein one sees the real difference between Google and Apple. Google *only* makes money from ads and marketing. Apple makes money from product – hardware, software, media, etc. Apple’s users don’t want their experience compromised by damn marketers.

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