Nokia Set to Sell Mobile Advertising

Handset Maker Won't Be Last Unusual Player to Join Gold Rush

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- AT&T and Microsoft are in. Google's there. Yahoo's there. Third Screen Media, AdMob and numerous start-up companies are there. Now even mobile-handset manufacturer Nokia is joining the mobile-advertising gold rush.
The mobile-handset manufacturer enters a category estimated at anywhere from $150 million to $421 million in 2006.
The mobile-handset manufacturer enters a category estimated at anywhere from $150 million to $421 million in 2006.

Nokia is moving outside the handset market by launching two products, the Nokia Ad Service and the Nokia Advertising Connector.

'A valuable solution'
The Nokia Ad Service will plan, execute and provide reports on mobile-ad campaigns and will work with hundreds of handsets globally, not just Nokia products, said Matthew Snyder, head of media-business development for Nokia's Multimedia Advertising Business Program. Campaigns will include interactive banner ads, ads in mobile applications and ads in mobile videos. "We are bringing a valuable solution to market," Mr. Snyder said.

He anticipates customers of the service will include mobile-phone companies, marketers and advertising agencies but declined to name any companies participating in tests. The service is expected to launch in Paris later this spring and globally in the second half of 2007.

The second offering, the Nokia Advertising Connector, which will launch later this year, is a platform where media companies, internet companies and others with established ad-sales teams can sell and garner ROI for their advertisers.

Mobile-ad market
Estimates of the size of the 2006 mobile-advertising market vary wildly, from Ovum's $150 million to eMarketer's $421 million. Estimates for the next few years jump to $5 billion or more depending on the calculator. Mr. Snyder said the category could be as high as $20 billion, about the size of today's radio ad market.

One buyer, who asked not to be named, said buying ads from a company that makes handsets is far-fetched. But it isn't surprising that Nokia is looking to tap this emerging market.

"Everybody and their brother wants to get in" on the revenue stream, said Jeff Janer, chief marketing officer for Third Screen Media. "It's not the last unusual player you will see. I won't be surprised if Motorola is next."
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