Google eyes mobile future

22 October 2012

NEW YORK: Google, the online giant, has seen the annual revenues generated by its mobile operations reach $8bn, aided by the rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets at the global level.

"Today, we live in a world of abundance; abundant information and abundant computing," Larry Page, Google's chief executive, said on a conference call with analysts.

"Most of us carry at least one device, all the time, every day. In fact many of us would feel naked without our smartphone. It's hardly surprising mobile search queries and mobile commerce are growing dramatically across the world."

Some 12 months ago, Google stated that its mobile advertising run rate – the annual revenue figure resulting if current trends are extrapolated over an entire year – stood at $2.5bn.

As a consequence of its continued success in this area, and the additional revenues delivered from paid content and apps in its Google Play store, this total has now hit $8bn.

Page said: "We are seeing tremendous innovation in advertising, which I believe, will help us monetise mobile queries more effectively than desktop today. Indeed, our mobile monetization per query is already a significant fraction compared to desktop."

T-Mobile, the telecoms group, was referenced as an example. It deployed location-based ads to drive in-store traffic, and achieved a clickthrough rate of 13%, considerably above the digital average.

"We want to make advertising super simple for customers. Online advertising has developed in very device-specific ways, with separate campaigns for desktop and mobile," Page said. "This makes arduous work for advertisers and agencies, and means mobile opportunities often get missed."

More broadly, there are over 500m mobile phones powered by Google's Android operating system in circulation, with 1.3m being activated every day.

It has also purchased Motorola Mobility, the device manufacturer, and rolled out the Nexus 7 tablet, priced at around $199.

"As we transition from one screen to multiscreens, Google has enormous opportunities to innovate and drive ever higher monetisation, just like search in 2000," Page said.

"We want a seamless experience that goes across both mobile and desktop and TV or whatever screens you have, and that's what we are building."

Data sourced from Seeking Alpha; additional content by Warc staff