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Monetization of Google Maps – Engineers Successfully Navigate a Way

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Ads on Google Maps on MobileGoogle Engineers are working with their Product Managers to deliver the WoW experience for Users and Advertisers on SmartPhone or PC. Roughly 50% of US mobile users are using Google Maps monthly, now you probably get why Google and Apple were at war for the Maps App on iPhones / iOS a Native turf of Apple. Google said that Google Maps for iOS was downloaded over 10 million times in the first 48 hours. We think Google has a big opportunity to monetize maps usage through search ads, click to call ads and display advertising.

Display ads can be found on Maps and Google Places / Local app where users look for local business information or read reviews as shown above. Google maps and location ads represent 25% of Google’s mobile revenue, which would suggest that Google could be generating around $3 Bn in Revenues annually. Google charges click-to-call click ads at the same price as Adwords clicks, so there is no difference in pricing for clicking through the website vs. making a call. We think click to call prices could have room to go higher given customer value.

Google is currently slow on monetizing its Maps with few ads served, and company could increase ad coverage in the future. For Google Places / Local, Google is monetizing local listings via display ads, but Google could monetize Google Places with paid listings, similar to competitors Yelp’s advertising platform.

A growing tablet market, combined with an already large smart phone installed base, has set the stage for 50%+ annual growth in Google mobile advertising through 2015 although some of this mobile spend will cannibalize PC. The largest pie of mobile advertising will come from Google’s Core Text & Voice Search, which Google is determined to protect even at the cost of giving away Android Free :-)

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