Starting next year, Verizon Wireless will be allowing
placement of banner ads on its news, weather, sports and other information
sites viewed on its mobiles, according the New
With space for sale in nearly all forms of digital
entertainment, Verizon looks to capitalize on advertisers looking for the next
frontier. Verizon acknowledges that selling ad space can be an additional
source of revenue for the company, but is approaching the idea of ads with much
“We know we can make significant dollars in mobile Web
advertising in 2007,” said John Harrobin, vice president of marketing and
digital media for Verizon Wireless. “That said, we likely will not — we want to
take it carefully and methodically, and enable the right experience.” More
generally, he added, “Mobile advertising is going to take off in 2007.”
Verizon is not the first U.S. carrier to allow advertisements
on its handsets. Sprint was the first to launch advertising on its content
starting October. As per numbers from Ovum Research, advertisers in 2005 spent
$45 million on mobile ads, but that number is expected to more than double this
year. Advertising spending will reach a projected $1.3 billion by 2010.
Verizon could be looking to the Internet for an example of
which types of advertising are well accepted by users. Harrobin said that
during consumer trials, users seemed to accept a single banner ad. “What we
don’t want to do is repeat the mistakes of the Internet — spam, interstitials,
pop-ups,” Mr. Harrobin said.
Advancements of handsets with higher-resolution displays and
faster network technologies, such as EVDO and 3G, will enable richer Web
browsing capabilities. Advertisers are likely noticing that new handsets are
capable of delivering their message better than ever.
While users may soon have to live with ads taking up real
estate on their small mobile screens, perhaps advertisers may usher in a model for
ads-supported, subsidized services in exchange for free calls and data.
quote: What the hell is the point of sending a text message to someone?
quote: Hopefully someday we'll get a common operating system for most phone types and then maybe more standardized applications can be developed.