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Google adverts on mobile phones?

the Google logoThere’s no doubting Google’s ambition to be the top of the advertising heap, but this recent talk of Google advertising ending up on mobile phones leaves me feeling a little cut off.

“In an interview with Reuters, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that cell phone price subsidies should increase in tandem with the amount of advertising delivered over cellular networks. ‘Your mobile phone should be free,’ Schmidt said to Reuters. ‘It just makes sense that subsidies should increase.’”

While the idea of free mobile phones for all fills me with a warm glow, there’s an appreciable loss of signal when the trade-off required is the ‘consumption’ of advertising:

“Will Google’s plans for the cellphone market pan out? It depends on how accepting consumers are of the concept. If the advertising is unobtrusive, perhaps with the cellphone display showing an advertiser’s logo while a call is being connected, consumers will likely go along — especially if the phone is free or subsidized. But if Google and cellular providers go overboard, consumers may stay away in droves.”

This sounds like a sensible enough idea, but who the hell looks at the screen of their mobile phone while it dials?

Not me! And I’m sure I’m not alone.

And thinking ahead, Google would need to ink deals with the service providers, surely? Might it not be outside the realms of fantasy that the networks pause the connection of non-essential calls just long enough to squeeze in an advert, or is that me just being naughty?

Following the assumption made by Ars Technica, and assuming it’s a credible guess of what Google have in mind, I’ll give Google 1 point for the idea, but I have to deduct 5 points for coming at this from the wrong angle.

What with Googles recent purchase of YouTube, they have the infrastructure in place to offer a more appropriate venue for showing their adverts betwixt & between content and still manage to subsidize the cost of the phone.

Did you get my message, or have I made the wrong call? You tell me…

By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

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