RIM is shopping for a mobile ad network

RIM reportedly wants to follow in the footsteps of Google and Apple and get itself a nice mobile ad network.

Google snatched AdMob, Apple bought Quattro, and RIM appears to have been in talks with Millennial Media about a potential acquisition. This is a company that serves ads on its own network of mobile websites and also brokers ad sales to a group of other mobile ad networks.

The talks haven’t turned into an acquisition announcement just yet because of disagreements on price. Apparently, RIM weren’t willing to pay what Millennial requested, having valued themselves by the recent AdMob and Quattro deals that Google and Apple made. RIM thought those were overpriced, and obviously didn’t want to go the same route.

The price Millennial was asking was $400-$500 million.

Why these companies need their own mobile ad networks is a good question. Perhaps it’s faster to just buy an existing company than go with in-house development, but at these prices, it doesn’t seem like it’s also cheaper.

Either way, RIM may ultimately cave in to Millennial’s demands, or they may start searching for another potential target.

They must be eyeing Google’s and Apple’s projected mobile ad revenues and hoping they’d be able to do well there too.

In the mean time, according to IDC, their market share is 17.8%, down from 19.1% year-on-year, as they struggle to make substantial inroads into the consumer market, dominated, at least in mindhsare, by the aforementioned Apple and Google. Thus, an ad network may create a new and future-proof revenue stream for the Canadian company.


Author: Vlad Bobleanta

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