In Google’s perfect world, cellphones would be free for those users who would be willing to watch ads on their devices. In an interview with Reuters, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that cell phone price subsidies should increase in tandem with the amount of advertising delivered over cellular networks. "Your mobile phone should be free," Schmidt said to Reuters. "It just makes sense that subsidies should increase."
Google has begn moving into cellphone advertising with experiemental ads consisting of brief video clips, images, and text ads underway in Japan.
Whether Google’s cellphone advertising plans succeed depends on how users interact with their cellphones. Schmidt sees a time when consumers spend up to 10 hours a day not only talking, but texting, surfing the ‘Net, and watching video. If you’re using your cellphone that much, Google’s hope is that you wouldn’t mind an ad or two, especially if it subsidized the price of the phone.
The advertising experiments in Japan are reportedly going well for Google, which bodes well for the company’s intention of delving deeply into advertising on mobile devices. Google has big plans for the market and is on record as predicting that revenues from cellphone advertising will eventually will eventually match those from its core, web-based ads.
Mobile phones are not the only place you will be seeing—and hearing—ads from Google in the future. The company recently entered the radio advertising market, acquiring dMarc Broadcasting for $102 million in January. dMark’s core product was an automated radio advertising system, which was integrated into Google’s AdSense for radio after the purchase. Google has also tried moving into print advertising, but the results haven’t been as impressive. A print ad auction earlier this year ended badly for Google as interest from potential bidders was lukewarm.
Will Google’s plans for the cellphone market pan out? It depends on how accepting consumers are of the concept. If the advertising is unobtrusive, perhaps with the cellphone display showing an advertiser’s logo while a call is being connected, consumers will likely go along—especially if the phone is free or subsidized. But if Google and cellular providers go overboard, consumers may stay away in droves.
Further readingCNN Money: Google CEO: Free cellphones for all, if…