Millennial Media, the second largest player in the mobile advertising market after Google’s Admob, has just filed its S-1 documents. It will likely go public in 2012, and plans to raise around $75 million at a valuation of $700 million to $1 billion.
It competes primarily with Google’s Admob and Apple’s iAd mobile advertising network. It has been steadily increasing its market share in the past quarters, and with the capital raised in the IPO, it will be in a better position to compete with the two giants.
“That’s a momentous step for Millennial. It will give them the money to compete on a more equal footing with Google, and potentially expand internationally. It’ll allow Millennial Media to expand its market share and it would probably be at the expense of Apple,” said Karsten Weide, program vice president at research firm IDC.
Its revenues were around $48 million in 2010, and almost $70 million in the first three quarters of 2011. It hasn’t yet made a profit, but seems to be on track to generate a few million dollars in profit in 2012.
Apple recently brought on Adobe executive Todd Teresi to lead its iAd business, which has been faltering since Apple acquired Quattro. It stands third after Google and Millennial Media in terms of market share.
With RIM’s growth being negative, and Android having the highest growth among other platforms, we should see Android leading the US smartphone market by the end of Q1 2011. Today, Millenial Media, the third largest mobile ad network after Admob and iAd, released mobile ad impression stats for December 2010.
According to its report, Android now has the highest share of mobile ad impressions on its network. 46% of all mobile ads on Millennial’s network are served on Android devices. 32% of the total ads are served on iPhones while RIM accounts for 16% of the impressions.
Google gives away Android for free, in the hope that more users will use smartphones, connect to the mobile web and click on ads served by Google. Most developers on the Android platform have realized that the best way to monetize Android apps is by releasing them for free and then plastering them with ads. The paid app model just doesn’t work on Android the way it does on the iOS. Google acquired AdMob in 2009 and is now the leading mobile ad network. If the stats by Millennial are any indication, Android is likely the biggest platform for mobile advertising already.
Angry Birds is one of the biggest mobile app success stories of all times. It was first released on the iOS platform, priced at $0.99. It passed 10 million downloads back in November, just on the iPhone.
Rovio Mobile, the creator of Angry Birds, also released it on Android on October 15. This time around, it released it for free, the only price which works well on Google’s Android platform. Like most developers, it hoped to make money off advertising. It just passed 7 million downloads a week back.
Today, Google Mobile Ads just released a Youtube video marketing Angry Birds as one of the most successful apps using its mobile advertising platform. Apparently, by the end of the year, Angry Birds for Android will be netting Rovio over $1 million per month in mobile ad revenue.
These figures indicate that Rovio would make more money on Android than on any other platform.
Google acquired an ad technology startup invite media on Wednesday this week. Invite media helps buyers purchase advertising from a dashboard displaying multiple ad exchanges in real time. This technology will run side by side with Google’s existing AdX.
The startup from the University of Pennsylvania was offered a deal to Omniture last year; thought the deal fell apart when Adobe acquired Omniture.
However, it is surprising to see how Google did not integrate its last two acquisitions (Invite Media and AdMob) into existing technologies but kept them running separately. The Official DoubleClick blog made this announcement saying,
In recent months, many agencies and advertisers have been asking us to make a bidding platform available directly to them, as they want to take advantage of the opportunities that real time bidding presents. We’re going to continue to invest significantly in improving Invite Media’s technology and products as a separate platform and, in time, make it work seamlessly with our DoubleClick for Advertisers (DFA) ad serving product. DFA enables advertisers and agencies to effectively plan, target, serve and measure display ad campaigns across the web. Integrating Invite Media’s technology will help DFA’s clients to easily buy ad space across multiple ad exchanges, as part of managing their broader display ad campaigns. Invite Media’s platform will of course continue to be available to any agency or advertiser, whether they use DFA or not.
The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has approved Google’s $750 million acquisition of the mobile advertisement network AdMob. After a six month review, FTC concluded that the acquisition “is unlikely to harm competition in the emerging market for mobile advertising networks”.
This move would come as a relief to Google, whose growing prominence has brought it under the FTC’s scanner. Even as late as last month, FTC appeared to be swaying against the deal that raised “serious antitrust issues”. Yet, when it came to making the final decision, the acquisition sailed through with 5-0 votes in favor of closing the inquiry. So, what changed?
It appears that Apple may have inadvertently helped Google through their purchase of the mobile ad network Quattro Wireless. “As a result of Apple’s entry (into the market), AdMob’s success to date on the iPhone platform is unlikely to be an accurate predictor of AdMob’s competitive significance going forward, whether AdMob is owned by Google or not,the Commission’s statement explains. During the investigation, FTC reached out to several developers, who opined in favor of the acquisition. In fact, some of these developers even voiced their opinion in their blogs and publicly hinted at FTC’s anti-Google bias.
AdMob, founded by Omar Hamoui in 2006, is a dominant player in the Mobile advertising market and reportedly serve more than 7.1 billion mobile banner and text ads per month. Google acquired it in late 2009 after winning a bidding war against Apple.