Blog Post

2010: The Year of M&A in Mobile Advertising

Apple (s aapl) is set to jump into mobile advertising in a big way, shelling out $275 million to buy Quattro Wireless, according to All Things Digital. Which is the latest signal that 2010 will be the year of consolidation for the space.

The reported move comes two months after the iPhone maker tried and failed to enter the mobile advertising market when it lost out in its bid to land AdMob, which instead agreed to be acquired by Google (s goog) for a whopping $750 million. Quattro is a relatively big player in mobile advertising, according to recent figures from IDC, claiming a 7 percent market share and generating roughly $21 million in 2009.

And while Cupertino has continued to generate impressive profits even as many competing phone makers are watching their margins be whittled away, it’s surely concerned about maintaining its own, as a host of impressive new devices come to market from competing vendors and smartphone prices continue to fall. So the company is scrambling to find new ways to monetize the mobile web and the surging uptake of wireless apps. The rise of in-app ads has led to a rapid expansion of the space since 2007, when AOL acquired Third Screen Media, Yahoo  (s yhoo) picked up Actionality, Microsoft (s msft) bought ScreenTonic and Nokia (s nok) acquired Enpocket.

Some deep-pocketed players are looking to increase their presence in mobile advertising this year, and the list of potential targets is a lengthy one. Millennial Media, which according to IDC boasts an 18 percent market share, tops the list; other possible pick-ups include JumpTap and the analytics firm Flurry. Expect another round of consolidation this year as mobile apps and the wireless web continue to evolve into mass-market industries.

Image courtesy of Quattro Wireless.

22 Responses to “2010: The Year of M&A in Mobile Advertising”

  1. Being as it may, Technology in our pocket is nothing new. Legitimate Spam is nothing new either. Look at what Twitter did with Technology thats been around for 15 years. As targeted advertising can be a good thing, what this mean’s mostly is Instead of getting add’s in 2-5 places on a 15-21in screen we are about to get half our 2×4 in screens filled with 99.99% Useless Marketing that we dont want nor need without an Opt Out Option. Why 1.7million individuals want to know what a Hollywood Actor is doing thru is day is beyond my comprehension of Rational(speaking of Twitter). Rather than a Media Blitz to our 2×4 in Screens, how about keep the screens open for Useful data Like Google, and let us Search for what we want & Need. I guess the new school of Marketing compared to the Old School of Maketing is very Different. Now its about shuving it in our face everywhere we turn.

  2. Wow! This is great news to all techie people out there who are hooked into using up-to-date mobile phones as well as mobile applications. Apple Iphones are really hip and well-suited for an active social and business lifestyle. This is a very exciting tip for the mobile fad this year 2010.

    customer finder

  3. Apple buying Quattro is a great indicator of the future success of the mobile space. It’s clear Apple wanted in on the money being made in the ad-sypported app space and Quattro fills some of the gaps in Apple’s offering.

    It will be interesting to see the benefits and challenges Quattro will face as part of this acquisition. They will certainly be able to use the relationship to bring in advertisers excited about the red hot iPhone platform but could face issues when advertisers looking for cross platform mobile options shy away from what looks like a monogamous relationship with Apple. Either way we wish them all the best and look forward to how they will evolve as one of the ad networks in our exchange.

    -Krishna Subramanian, Mobclix Co-Founder

  4. Amethon Solutions in Australia is another interesting company in this space which works primarily with Mobile Operators to analyse and track (and thereby monetize) rich mobile media including mobile web, applications and multimedia messaging (MMS).

    Our Mobile Analytics platform provides the mobile operators with full web analytics reporting for all mobile web traffic including on- and off-net browsing.

    Our Content Fingerprinting platform analyses content sharing via MMS enabling viral MMS marketing campaigns to be tracked and reported.

  5. Observer

    Being in the mobile ad business also provides Apple valuable insights into how consumers are using other vendors’ smartphones. By tracking and analyzing ad requests from applications on these smartphones, Apple gets a ring side view into how consumers interact with not only applications on those smartphones, but also these devices.

  6. Observer

    This is all about the iSlate/iTabler or whatever Apple decides to call its tablet device. These devices will obviously be used for magazines and news papers also. Clearly advertising is a key component of publishing, only that these ads in tablets can be targeted and interactive. Apple would want to own the customer experience on these devices comprehensively.

  7. Dr. Strangelove

    A valuation of 13 x revenue for Quattro?
    A valuation of 15 x revenue for AdMob?

    And 80% of the population is not interested in ads on their mobile phones.

    Goo goo ga ga business decisions.

    Everybody is somebody’s fool.