Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

11 January 2010

The So-Called Mobile Era: AAPL and GOOG Start the Sumo

Long-suffering Bob invited me onto the BeanCast yesterday, along with Christopher Baccus, Bret Bernhoft and Al Gadbut. The episode title is Worse than Cancer on account of some typically awkward thing I said after thinking Bob was done recording.

You can check out the topics in the above link, but the episode basically revolved around mobile coming into itself: ad men hankering to incorporate their brands more intuitively on this most intimate of technologies, as well as Google and Apple beginning to butt heads, what with the former going into mobile hardware and the latter dipping its toes into mobile advertising.

As the 'net embeds itself into all facets of our lives, we're gonna see more tech companies stepping out of their respective métiers and going head-to-head against each other in unexpected arenas: competing to own audiences in mobile search, for example, and trying to control points of entry for wifi and ad penetration. 2008 and 2009 manifested the beginning of this blurring of specialization; now we'll see prominent names and new services start taking shape in the melting pot.

Google's foray into lead generation also dominated the conversation; applications for it are endless, but I can already smell the realtors and car salesmen jumpin' on that like there's no tomorrow. =P

Oh yeah, and then there was that whole H&M PR nightmare. (*coughs up a hairball*)

Tastebuds tingling? Have a listen here.

1 comment:

Ben Kunz said...

Only you could make The Beancast sound poetic!

Here's my take on mobile: Advertising there ain't going to work well. The reasons are numerous and obvious -- the screens are tiny, and users don't click around between screens that much, thus inventory is limited for ads, and users are in a different modality, and -- OH YES -- handy app buttons that quick-launch you onto the Internet mean even Google won't be the front door. Add all this up and you have a Bob Garfield funky scenario.

The funniest thing about mobile advertising hyperbole is how it's always *about* to take off, every year for the past 10 years, and we always miss the forecasts. I actually looked it up in an old blog post:

- In 2007, Strategy Analytics predicted mobile ad spend would be $14.4 billion by 2011 ...
- In 2008, eMarketer said it would be $6.5 billion by 2012 ...
- In 2009, Kelsey Group said it would be $3.1 billion by 2013.

$2 billion? $1 billion anyone?? Man, those screens are small, hope at least a few ads fit. The reason Google is all over mobile OS and hardware is it's desperately trying to figure out how to move its ad revenue model into tiny screens where users can as of now bypass it, and Google ads, altogether.

It's not necessarily a bad thing. The truth is consumers simply find advertising in their roaming hands relatively irrelevant. Don't believe me: Go look up an old eMarketer forecast.