Could This Be a Huge Growth Business for Google?
What is that phrase about the mother of invention? Google (GOOG) knows.
Google ran into trouble in China when it decided to stop self-censoring content. But an underdog there in search ads, Google has pioneered the market for mobile ads, according to the latest Bloomberg Businessweek.
Mobile ads include search-related ones but also ads sent to people playing games, watching videos and using apps. Google's position stems from an acquisition that’s now looking pretty smart -- in 2010 it paid $750 million for AdMob, which gave it a technological leg up. AdMob had technology for mobile apps that must have been still newish at the time Google announced its purchase, considering that Bloomberg had to explain apps in its story. It called them “mini-programs have become enormously popular on the iPhone, which has more than 100,000 apps.” Apple’s (AAPL) app store now has more than half a million apps.
With the world going mobile, this seems like a nice new avenue for growth. The mobile-app ad segment alone is reportedly estimated to reach $283 million in sales this year -- and that's just in China.
But of course Google will face competition. In China that'll come from Baidu and China’s biggest internet company, Tencent Holdings.