Initial industry response to Google’s AdMob grab


google mobile_smallADOTAS – Since reporting benign third-quarter results a few weeks ago, Google has publicly proclaimed its desire to go on a shopping spree — it’s latest big-ticket purchase is AdMob, a mobile advertising network that’s seen some impressive business over the last year.

Almost as soon as the news broke, my inbox was flooded with comments from industry professionals about the bold move. A little to my surprise, it was overwhelmingly positive.

Mojiva CEO Dave Gwozdz wrote: “The news that Google acquired mobile advertising player AdMob for $750 million confirms the legitimacy of the mobile advertising industry, and overcomes any skepticism of whether small screens can offer big opportunities to reach mobile consumers. The fact that Google has placed a premium on owning a mobile ad network is very notable. The market has definitely matured to the point where it makes sense for online behemoths to try to combine networks, analytics and delivery technologies in the hopes of capturing a share of this growing market.”

Paul Palmieri, president and CEO of Millennial Media added: “What happened today is astounding. Google’s perspective has always been that mobile is just the Internet. Today Google validated what many companies including Millennial have thought for years –- that mobile is a different market with a huge potential for advertising; possibly a bigger opportunity than online media…. We are happy to see a player like Google bring economies of scale to the performance advertising space in mobile… [and] we look forward to working alongside the Google/AdMob pairing to fully realize the vast potential of the mobile advertising market….”

And Paran Johar, CMO of Jumptap, chimed in: “The announcement is causing tremendous excitement as it validates the enormous potential of mobile advertising. We predicted consolidation in the industry and AdMob’s broad high-volume business model is highly synergistic for Google. The industry frontrunner will be determined by who can deliver the most advanced targeting capabilities for better ROI for advertisers and publishers.”

I guess I wasn’t expecting people to write, “Get your hands out of our mobile display networks, you damn dirty Google!” and it’s poor form to publicly deride a merger of competitors, but this seemed an almost overly sunny reaction.

However, Steven Burke of ChannelWeb wasn’t feeling so celebratory about the Google/AdMob smelting, arguing that the Justice Department should smack down the merger.

“The smartphone and mobile advertising market is just developing. We don’t need a monopoly ad power player coming in and wreaking havoc on an industry that is still in its infancy,” he wrote. “This is the kind of emerging market where the Justice Department needs to be proactive so that consumers and businesses are not backed into a corner and forced to deal with ONE ad player rather than having the option of choosing many different companies.

Anybody else a bit wary of this development, or should we be cracking open the champagne alongside Google and AdMob?



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