I gave a talk on mobile advertising from the application developer's perspective at Mobile Camp Boston in March. These are my rough notes.
Why I care
- The applications that we build at Nellymoser depend on recurring revenue as part of their biz model--we have skin in the game.
- Monthly recurring charges (MRC) don't work well enough, a la carte purchasing isn't good enough--MRC is a barrier to user.
- We need better revenue source, and in-app ads provide an interesting alternative.
- Richard Kasperowski
- Nellymoser Engineering Manager
- Mobile since 2003
- Founder of Boston Mobile, etc.
- Mobile 2.0
- Rich mobile app's
- Audio & video on demand
- Social networking
Compare mobile app's to the ISP I use at home. I pay for a data connection--I don't have to pay by the month for every web site or app I use.
- Let's be honest: the mobile app is itself an ad, reinforcing someone's brand. For example, the CBS Sports Mobile app is branded to distinguish it from ESPN; the Virgin Mobile Headliner music app is branded to distinguish Virgin Mobile from other carriers.
- Almost just like web
- Text links or img links
- Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) specifies standard ad image sizes for various screen sizes
- E.g., developer puts img URL on WAP page: no big deal
- Players: Third Screen, Millennial Media, Google, AdMob, etc.
- Paid by impressions, click throughs
- Immature: unreliable, not documented well, etc.
- Ad supplier offers library that you include in your app
- guaranteed to work?
- Rich media ads
- Too large--your app won't fit on target handsets when combined with the ad library
- Rich media ad inventory not available
- Ad supplier offers simple RESTful web service
- Inputs: app ID, handset user agent, end user ID
- Outputs: sized banner ad, sized full screen ad, URL for click-through to related WAP site
- Scant documentation
- Reliability of ad service: hard to cope with reliability issues, given handset constraints
- e.g. if ad server is down, can't necessarily timeout gracefully on mobile handset
- also report impressions via RESTful interface
- Players: Third Screen, MillennialMedia
- Paid for impression of banner ad, paid more for impression of full screen ad, paid more for click-through to related WAP site
- E.g., featured artists UI element at top of screen in a music app
- E.g., featured artist start page widget in a music app
- Ad suppliers: how can we integrate better?
- Developers: what coping strategies do you use?
- Carriers guard this information.
- Difficult to obtain end user phone number