Uncovering The Opportunities Created By Google Android

Android is an Open Handset Alliance, a group of currently 30 technology and mobile companies, is developing the first complete, open, and free mobile platform. I will be spending this week in Las Vegas to attend CTIA 2008 Wireless and LeadsCon to learn more about opportunities this platform will create for the industry, especially around mobile advertising. Southern California has a large ecosystem of online advertising management talent that will eventually participate in the growth of this emerging industry. My primary mission is to learn more about developers using Google Android are planning for the future and the related opportunities it creates. I think the largest opportunities in the space for entrepreneurs will emerge around applications that perform "passive search" enabled by GPS. See the Phandroid Blog for a conference preview. Stay tuned for my comments on the Google Android subject.

Top Publishers Adopting Direct vs. Automated Ad Network Sales

ESPN becomes one of the first major publishers to drop ad networks as a means of selling advertising and not likely the last. Two sides have formed in the online advertising world - those who want to protect traditional, direct selling of premium content brands and the math-loving crowd that favors automation and data. Direct ad sales can attribute to a 2 to 3X premium on revenue and usually benefits the advertiser with tighter ad integration into the content. I think there is a clear opportunity for more publishers to capitalize on this direct ad sales trend and we will likely see this phenomenon move further down the tail into smaller and smaller niche publishers.

See the Media Week article with further details on the story.

Google Ad Manager Will Make Publishers More Money

Google's new Ad Manager technology will soon enable premium ad banners to be sold directly to advertisers by publishers and when the clicks are used up on the premium ads it will revert automatically to use Google Adsense. This is a brilliant move and will further accelerate the gap between premium content and generic publishers who don't provide any unique content value. I have always felt that quality advertisers will find quality content and now there is one single platform to consummate these relationships. Today premium content publishers sell clicks direct at a huge premium using 3rd party billing and click tracking systems. Clicks are usually sold via banners and text ads at a 2x to 4x premium cutting out Google. I think this bad news for most ad networks who will soon need to specialize and/or be selling remnant inventory only. However, this theory assumes that most quality publishers want and know how to sell ads directly. I think hard working publishers and agencies will be rewarded and we will soon see lots of companies like the Rubicon Project and Gorilla Nation. Los Angeles has a vast ecosystem of advertising management talent to draw upon and will naturally be the beneficiary of this industry boom.

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