Friday, March 9, 2007

Nokia ad service is launched! A potentially revolutionary milestone for Mobile advertising..

The Nokia Adservice may well be one of the most significant announcements this year and I believe, it will transform the industry...

Here is my analysis on the Nokia ad service.

To understand why this is a seminal announcement, we need to understand that the advertisement model is very significant. It is the main driver on the Web (web 20) (and that includes all forms of advertising like video).

I believe that the Ad model will also be a major driver to the Mobile Web.

But there is a problem.

The good news is: we have billions of devices - more than PCs The bad news is: that they have nothing in common except Voice and SMS.

For most part, neither of these are programmable.

To make matters worse, the device stack is fragmented and brittle. By fragmented, I mean, a Wintel like situation does not exist on mobile devices. And by brittle I mean that layers in the stack are too tightly coupled - making introduction of new elements very difficult.

For advertisers, this is bad because :

a) It is almost impossible to target advertising to customer profiles
b) The target audience is fragmented

Clearly, an appetite for advertising exists with the success of both Admob and screentonic, both of whom have reported a billion ad impressions. But the impressions themselves cannot be targeted because very little USER information is available to the third party (advertiser).

The other end of the spectrum are the Operators. Traditionally, they have always thought of themselves being the key players in leveraging advertising. For third parties, dealing with Operators is very difficult.

Further more, Operators in the West do not have the leverage on the actual device stack (much as they would like to have).

The result is: Advertising has not taken off so far .. Do you agree?

The Nokia ad service provides a very interesting alternative to third parties because it is an Off portal initiative across all Nokia handsets globally.

This truly changes the game from an advertiser perspective because:
a) They deal with one entity(Nokia)
b) They potentially access ALL Nokia devices ACROSS operators globally
c) They can target the customer base because the Web/Mobile gateways are run by Nokia (off portal)

From a third party advertiser perspective, working with a company like Nokia would be far more preferable than working with the many Operators globally and not getting anywhere.

This does not affect 'On Portal' - but on portal initiatives are really not taking off for most people.

Hence, I believe that :
a) The Nokia ad service will revolutionise the Ad serving market for mobile devices
b) It would help many companies to actually reach global customers(all Nokia devices) and also target global customers(since much more about the customer is known in this scenario)
c) .mobi is also a beneficiary - this may legitimise the .mobi market
d) The impact on mobile advertising companies would probably be negative because they cannot hope to achieve the reach and the targeting of customers as Nokia is doing. But on the flip side, they will get a lot of interest because of the impact on Mobile advertising

With both the Snake game and Ringtones, Nokia has created two industry segments. This may well be the third.

I would be blogging about this a lot more. Watch this space! Well done Nokia and welcome into the world of mobile advertising!!!

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