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Apple and Google go head-to-head in mobile advertising

August 10, 2010
Google boss Eric Schmidt's announcement that the company will be following a "mobile-first approach" and prioritising investment in a rapidly growing sector that is becoming "fundamental to everything we do" means British mobile users may soon have to choose their side in the battle of the tech giants - with both Google and Apple setting their sights on the lucrative market.

Smartphone pioneers Apple made their impact on the mobile advertising market with the launch of the iAds platform earlier this year, a medium that Steve Jobs claimed will allow developers to produce "free and low-cost apps to delight users" by generating revenue from interactive video ads hosted within their applications.

The Guardian reports that Apple's innovative platform is expected to hit the UK in September, while Google - owner of the world's other largest mobile ad network - is working on making its own impact on the mobile web.

The company's director of mobile ad sales for Google Europe, Middle East and Africa, Ian Carrington, explained that Google is concentrating on a results-based approach for mobiles. Positing a scenario in which a mobile user is reading a book review in a café, Carrington explained: "The accompanying ad will understand its context.

"It will know what book is being discussed in that review. You've also got GPS in most smartphones now, so your handset can tell you that this book is £5.99 in a shop 100 yards away, and £4.99 in a shop a mile away."

Despite these divergent approaches to mobile advertising, both Apple and Google are united in one thing - their desire to hold onto a large share of revenue generated through their platforms. Apple's proposal is that developers receive 60 per cent of revenue generated through ads on their applications, while Google has made similar claims that "at least 50 per cent" of revenue will be passed on to publishers, when their content appears next to targeted ads.


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