Verizon Wireless To Permit Mobile Ads

Starting in January, Verizon Wireless will let advertisers place banner ads on news, weather, sports and other Web sites displayed on its mobile phones, The New York Times reported yesterday.

At last month's Mobile Marketing Association Forum in Los Angeles, Dave Oberholzer, associate director of information and news programming for Verizon Wireless, said "mobile ads are important," but the company has to "find a way to have it contribute to revenue without it impacting negatively on the customer experience."

Research firm Ovum predicts that advertisers will spend around $150 million on mobile ads in 2006--a jump from $45 million spent in 2005. Ovum forecasts that mobile ad spending could reach $1.3 billion by 2010.

As wireless carriers increase their focus on offering non-voice data services, so does the opportunity to create revenue streams from them, with advertising being key. Research firm eMarketer predicts that by 2010, U.S. mobile data revenues are expected to reach $37.5 billion--up from $5.4 billion in 2006.

The challenge is to keep from turning off customers, who can leave the carrier altogether if the advertising experience feels too intrusive.



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