Editor's Corner

Mobile advertising hype

Just a few months ago the big buzz words were "user-generated content." Nearly everyone was touting the social networking aspects of their messaging app, game, ringtone or screen protector.

Today the buzz is all about "mobile advertising." Google, the 800 lb. giant of Web ads, is probably to blame. The company's highly predictable first foray into mobile ads seems to have stirred up the whole industry. Third Screen Media, Enpocket, JumpTap and many other established mobile firms are jumping to point out their own efforts to serve ads to users. Meanwhile, AdMob, a mobile ad service not unlike Google's, recently secured funding from Sequoia Capital. Even News Corp.'s Peter Chernin reiterated a need to bring advertisers to the mobile platform in his CTIA keynote--along with a laundry list of other common criticisms of the mobile content market.

Mobile advertising is indeed exciting. It offers a radical new revenue stream that has the potential to offer developers and publishers a much bigger slice of the pie. But does it justify this level of hype? Probably not. Google has as much to gain by embracing mobile ads as anyone, and they have just barely stuck a toe in the water. And although it's hard to hear their voices over the cacophony of mobile ad startup buzz, not everyone in the industry is so jazzed.

Mobile ads are coming, but they're not here yet. -Eli

P.S. Thanks to everyone who attended Oasis, our networking party last week in LA. It was a huge success--nearly 1,300 people showed up! Check out pictures from the party at our Web site.