Is Google Killing $150 Million In Ad Revenue?

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Kevin Ford

September 17th, 2013

Originally posted by Daniel Tack in Forbes – Google Play Developer Program Policies will be seeing some significant changes this week on September 20, 2013.  Rob Weber, co-founder of NativeX, weighs in on a potential $150 million in ad revenue at stake and the impact on the Android market.

“In late August Google GOOG -0.5% announced that they would be changing their developer policies… It’s a bold, big move to catch up to iOS.  The ad market has kind of been a grey area on Android,” says Weber.  “Some ad networks have become very spammy because Google hasn’t been very stringent to this point.   It was pretty much anything goes.  This is a jump to improve the user experience and an attempt to catch up to Apple AAPL +1.94%.”

The key aspects of these changes are designed to crack down on all manner of “spammy” ad networks, push notifications, and ads in the notification bar space.  This will impact thousands of developers and could cause serious damage to companies reliant on these practices.

“In reading the policy, as of September 20 Android apps need to eliminate two key pieces of advertising functionally.  One is ads on the notification bar, sort of notifications that you don’t really know where they are coming from.  Tens of thousands of apps on Android are currently using ads like this to generate revenue,” says Weber.

“The second is ad icons on the homescreen.  When you install an app it can ask you permissions to do this and and take over your homescreen completely.  Google is essentially killing this, in my estimation this amounts to over $150 million in annual ad revenue.”

Weber argues that the changes will move the Android platform ahead, despite having an immediate impact on developers, companies, and revenue generation.

“This is going to impact a lot of developers because they’re going to have to pull these ads out of their apps.  In the end it’s going to make the Android experience much more pleasant and more competitive,” says Weber.  “Now that Google is making these bold moves and new advertising models are coming in, I think Android is going to be able to catch up not only on market share but on user experience, where I think they lack a little bit. “

Weber states that with the phase out of these spammier methods, native advertising will continue to grow.

“In some internal testing we’ve done, we’re seeing clickthrough rates with a 225% increase in comparison to the standard ads.”

Kevin Ford

Marketing Manager


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