AdMob (s goog) is releasing a software development kit for Windows Phone 7 (s msft) developers and is updating its platform to full HTML5 for iOS (s aapl), Android and Windows Phone 7. The changes mean developers will be able to include AdMob advertising units on Windows Phone 7 apps, which will be good for developers working across platforms. They’ll be able to essentially repurpose their work and hit multiple OSes at the same time.
The move to HTML5 also enables more rich media opportunities for ads. Before, multimedia ads often redirected users to a landing site where rich media was displayed. But by incorporating HTML5 fully into the SDK, developers can do more rich integration in the ad itself, better transitions and full-screen interstitials on tablets. For instance, an ad can now incorporate more location information and direct people to nearby retail outlets right in the ad.
Mark Schaaf, engineering director for AdMob said the move to HTML5 also streamlines the amount of code that’s needed and can also mean less data is transferred, which is one concern about rich media ads. He said developers and publishers have been pushing for more rich media ads, which are more interactive and deliver more revenue from advertisers.
“The formats we have now are fine but we want to make mobile advertising great,” said Schaaf, one of AdMob’s first employees. “The way you do that is richer ads and giving users something they want to see and interact with.”
Schaaf said AdMob’s strength lies in its open platform, which allows developers to hit multiple operating systems easily. And that makes AdMob more attractive for advertisers because they can hit demographic groups across mobile platforms. Since its acquisition by Google, AdMob continues to roll and now boasts 50,000 apps on its network with 2 billion ad requests a day. Schaaf said hundreds of publishers are making more than $100,000 a month with AdMob.
Rich media ads are still a small part of the mobile ad mix but they’re capturing significant interest because they boast a lot of interactivity with users. A recent Volvo campaign by AdMob found multimedia ads led to almost a 10x improvement in click-through rates compared to traditional banner ads. Some of that may be the novelty of these ads but proponents like AdMob say that they represent a real opportunity to engage users and drive actions.
AdMob isn’t the only one working on rich media ads. Medialets also announced today that Adobe will integrate its mobile advertising platform software developer kit with Adobe’s Content Viewer in the Enterprise Edition of Digital Publishing Suite. This will allow publishers to manage their targeted brand advertising inventory in digital publications on tablet devices. We’re still early in the rise of mobile rich media ads but it’s looking more like the ad units could be an important part of the revenue mix for mobile developers and publishers alongside traditional paid downloads and in-app purchases.