iPhone, Mobile Advertising and Search

One of the characteristics we’ve noticed at AdMob is the phenomenal amount of mobile web pages viewed on iPhones. It’s a combination of a great device, combined with fixed rate data packages (removing click-fear), but also great timing, as there’s more and more compelling content out there, which just didn’t exist a year ago.

So much so, that we launched a new series of ad formats specially for the iPhone about a month ago. You can see very short videos of the formats put through their paces here. But if you don’t have the time, the iPhone has allowed us to create advertising that is uniquely mobile, such as touching a banner to watch a trailer for a forthcoming film, or go to the Apple Apps Store or iTunes, or click to call.

This is important as any new medium tends to adopt the formats that preceded them. So when TV came along, as an example, early ads were black-and-white still pictures with a voice over, which was a hangover from the radio days. It was only later that ads emerged that aspired to be some of the mini works of art that was produced by the likes of Guinness, Honda and Apple, to name just a few over the years.

In this way, early mobile ads tended to take the banner campaigns of the PC web and shrink them down to mobile size.

Many of us believed that this was only the first step and sure enough, the iPhone has enabled us to take the second. Sure, you can still see the PC roots, but they’re quite clearly now made-for-mobile and we’re really on our way as a new industry. Early results show phenomenal promise in terms of interaction with the consumer too, who are voting with their fingers in this case.

At the Mobile Web Europe conference I was speaking at this week, this was one of the ideas that I covered. So I was interested to hear that JumpTap (white label mobile search) say that while the iPhone accounted for 2% of handsets, it also accounted for 50% of mobile searches. While this seems very high to me, I do believe that it’s certainly indicative of the real state of affairs.

It’s too early to say if the iPhone will be a long term winner, or just a very important influencer of the market. But it is certainly a major milestone in mobile advertising and Search too, by the sound of it.

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