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The mobile content business must hurriedly adopt common advertising standards, industry leaders told the 3GSM World Congress here in Barcelona this morning. GSM Association chief executive Rob Conway and Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin warned the sector would miss out on an opportunity to create a bigger advertising market than either TV or the internet if it did not make the offering simple for prospective advertisers.
Conway: “We have something that does not exist in the broadcast media: we have the immediate response channel as well. The problem is, today we are highly fragmented in our approach on mobile advertising. [We need to] do what was done in the traditional broadcast media and what has been done in online media: identify the formats we need to run across our operator community, to identify the definition of what is inventory in the mobile space and to have the measurement metrics so that advertisers can measure what is the value of putting ads onto a mobile medium. A cross-industry code of conduct. The board believe it’s critical for us to establish the Mobile Advertising Forum — the first time to reach out across different industries, to bring them together in a forum to address these things … to optimize mobile advertising.”
Sarin: “We need to rapidly define, in our industry, the size of banner ads, the most appropriate length of video ads, the most intelligent advertising platforms, reporting formats, consistent communication frameworks so that we make our business easier to do business with. If we don’t move together, we will have a fragmented medium and user base instead of a single advertising medium that reaches 2 billion people.”
Many believe 2007 is going to be the year mobile advertising makes a splash. Yahoo is now beginning to make solid moves in the mobile web ads space, but the concern expressed here suggestions the mobile networks may be concerned about their ability to monetize the phenomenon on their terms.
Update: Echoing the above call, MTV Networks’ SVP digital media, Gideon Bierer issued the same concern to a separate Mobile Entertainment Summit later this afternoon. “A lot of the characteristcs that make [conventional media advertising] work well are generally quite absent in mobile,” he said. “Measurement is totally absent. This is the bread and butter of the advertising industry – to get standard metrics that you can quantify.”