Google plans to test search ads in Android store in coming weeks

February 26, 2015 12:13 PM

(Bloomberg)—Google Inc. plans to show search ads targeting customers who use its application and media store for Android devices under a pilot program, as the company looks for new ways to generate revenue from mobile devices.

In the next few weeks, Google will let application developers buy advertising spots that consumers can see when they search for software in the Google Play store, Michael Siliski, a product management director, said in a blog post Thursday. So, a query for coupon or travel options in the marketplace may show a sponsored result at the top of the query page, the Mountain View, California-based company said.

Google, grappling with competition from Facebook Inc. and Apple Inc., is looking for new ways to boost interest from businesses in advertising on wireless devices, where prices for promotions often are less than they are on desktops. The company’s share of the mobile ad market dropped to 41% last year from 46% in 2013, according to recent research by EMarketer Inc.

“We’ve seen how search ads shown next to organic search results on can significantly improve content discovery for users and advertisers, both large and small,” Siliski said. “Search ads on Google Play will enable developers to drive more awareness of their apps and provide consumers new ways to discover apps that they otherwise might have missed.”

Google, the world’s biggest Internet services company, is looking to expand its mobile ad presence as users favor applications such as those from Priceline Group Inc.’s Kayak on handheld devices, which bypass browser-based ads.

The new service aims to bolster its appeal to developers that are looking for new ways to attract new consumers. Smartphones using Android dominate the global market with more than 80% of the share in 2014, according to IDC.

Separately, the company also announced today it has paid out more than $7 billion to developers of games and apps on Google Play in the past year.





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