If you haven't already seen advertising on your cell phone or other mobile device, Google Inc. has taken steps to make it more likely you will.
Google announced Monday that it is launching AdSense for Mobile to automatically match ads with the content of mobile Web pages in 13 countries, including the U.S.
The move follows similar action by Yahoo Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Time Warner Inc., among others. Also Monday, Nokia Corp. announced plans to purchase Enpocket, which provides cell phone marketing technology and services to advertisers, Web publishers and carriers.
While mobile advertising may be the bane of many mobile users, analysts predict a healthy market for its growth. Informa Telecoms & Media expects global mobile phone advertising to reach US$1.5 billion in 2007, double the amount last year. It predicts the level to hit $11 billion by 2010.
In the U.S. alone, The Kelsey Group Inc. predicts that spending on mobile search and display advertising will hit $33.2 million this year and grow to $1.4 billion in 2012. Kelsey Group also expects the number of mobile Internet users to grow at 20 percent annually in the U.S. through 2012, when there will be almost 92 million people going online via their cell phones and related mobile devices.
Google introduced the AdSense for Mobile program by noting that "the mobile device is becoming the world's most popular gateway to information. In fact, there are currently more mobile devices worldwide than personal computers and televisions combined."
Google said its AdSense for Mobile system will imitate its other AdSense products for online Web searches. Currently, Google leads the market for PC-based search advertising. The AdSense system automatically reviews the content of a publisher's mobile Web site and delivers text ads that are relevant to the site's audience and content. A publisher earns revenues whenever a mobile user clicks on an ad.