Another digital ad network, this time from Nokia

Nokia’s getting into the digital advertising game, announcing an ad network targeting mobile users.

Nokia today announced two mobile advertising services. Nokia Ad Service, is a fully managed service for advertisers to conduct targeted advertising on mobile services and applications. Nokia Ad Service consists of a group of mobile publishers forming a mobile ad network and a platform to deploy, manage and optimize mobile advertising campaigns. Nokia also introduced Nokia Advertising Gateway, a private label service for third party Publishers and Advertising Aggregators that want to extend to relevant mobile advertising. Nokia Advertising Gateway operates as an intelligent switch, selecting between text, visual, audio and video ads – depending on the user’s context – and feeding the ad to the device.

This is interesting for a number of reasons. Obviously, many people expect mobile advertising to experience the same growth we’ve seen over the past few years with internet advertising. Nokia’s move to get in the middle of that revenue stream could yield significant rewards for the company. Of course, they’re not the only one’s moving into that position.

Clearly the carriers are going to want to make a play to capture advertising revnue, particularly in the US and Canada, where the carrier is the party that controls the subscriber, not the handset manufacturer. Does Nokia’s new Nokia Ad Service put it in competition with carriers? Sure seems like it.

There are the pure-play mobile ad networks/technologies, like Enpocket, Third Screen Media, and AdMob. They’ve been trying to build out networks of their own, or assist carriers in creating mobile ad channels themselves. These guys are specialist players on the fringe of the larger digital ad business served by companies like DoubleClick, ValueClick, AOL’s, 24/7 Real Media, etc, each of whom could extend their ad serving technologies (and, by extension, their ad networks) into the mobile world. They could elect to build their own brands or to serve a mobile player through a licensing arrangement.

The elephant in any digital ad room, of course, is Google. Nobody imagines they’ll sit on the sidelines while others stake the high ground in the mobile ad space.

While the dynamics of the mobile ad market shake out, the advertisers are going to have to deal with a lot of friction and complexity. Mobile will be yet another isolated marketing channel with its own campaign characteristics.

Perhaps the only guaranteed winners are the agencies, who charge advertisers a premium to make all this complexity go away.

Source: Nokia Ad Service