Mobile ad network AdMob — which is in the process of being purchased by Google — tells us that its first advertising product for Apple’s new iPad should be available to developers in the next two weeks.
AdMob marketing boss Jason Spero tells us that his company is currently working on figuring out how iPad ads will look like and how they’ll work.
Spero thinks the ads’ appearance may more closely resemble online ads than the small mobile ads that AdMob offers for the iPhone and other mobile phones. But he thinks the back-end of iPad ads may more closely resemble mobile ads than online ads. (He should hope so — he’d much rather have AdMob running iPad ads than Web-focused ad networks like Yahoo or AOL.)
Why would publishers give their iPad inventory to a mobile ad network when they could probably get more money from an online ad network?
One reason for this, Spero argues, is that the iPad does not support Adobe’s Flash plugin, which most Web ad networks use for multimedia ads. So publishers can’t just copy and paste their Web ad code into their iPad apps.
Another is that the “after-the-click” activity on the iPad may be different than it is for Web sites, and mobile ad networks seem to understand this better. On the Web, after users click most ads, it just takes them to another Web site. On an iPhone, it could take them to a map, the App Store, a mini-site, somewhere in iTunes, etc. It seems mobile ad networks may be able to offer a better experience here.
But it’s early, and this is anyone’s game. If online ad players can generate significantly more revenue for iPad publishers than mobile ad players, they may have the upper hand. It will likely take a few years of evolution before anyone really knows what a great iPad ad will be like.
Meanwhile, Apple — which recently acquired mobile ad provider Quattro Wireless — could unveil its first ad product this Thursday when it shows off features of the forthcoming iPhone OS 4.
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