Samsung is launching its own mobile advertising network, working with OpenX Technologies to create a new ad exchange featuring inventory on applications running on Samsung devices.
Samsung AdHub Market will enable advertisers to place targeted messages on Samsung phones and tablets beginning in the second half of 2012. Observers will argue about what it means. Obviously, the move represents new competition, but the “competitors” could be many.
That Samsung is becoming an ad network is significant for Google and Apple, each of which is involved in a serious way with mobile advertising networks and ad placement. And that is the obvious and most direct form of competition.
The notion that either content or advertising can be an important revenue generator for a device manufacturer or service provider is not unusual. Sony has for decades believed that content ownership would be an important value for its own, and all other devices. How well that has worked is another question.
Apple also has proven that a robust content capability, in the form of iTunes to sell iPods and the App Store to sell iPhones, is foundational.
More recently, app store operators have been trying to create new advertising capabilities, in large part to create an attractive new revenue stream for developer partners. In fact, in the last few years more developers have moved away from a retail sales revenue model and towards an in-app advertising and in-app commerce revenue model.
In other words, participants in the mobile ecosystem increasingly are finding they must consider participating in other parts of the mobile ecosystem to ensure their success in the current role. That’s the reason one hears more these days about competition between actors that would not have made any sense decades ago.