The availability of the SDK provides developers looking to monetise theirs apps with an alternative to solutions like AdDuplex, inneractive, and Microsoft's pubCenter. The benefit that Google's AdMob bring to the table is that it is part of Google's advertising platform and therefore potentially has greater market reach and inventory depth. Inventory depth is becoming more of an issue for in app advertising, with many services struggling to fill the available inventory (i.e. more supply than demand).
From the Google announcement:
Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of a beta version of the AdMob SDK for Windows Phone 8 to help you monetize your Windows Phone 8 applications! The key features of this SDK include the ability to:
- Create an AdMob banner view from code
- Embed an AdMob banner directly in an XAML file
- Show full-screen interstitial ads
- Register for ad events such as succeeding or failing to receive an ad
The current release of the SDK does not include a numberr of features that are available in the iOS and Android version of the SDK. For example, there is no support for ad network mediation, DoubleClick for Publishers, or MRAID. It is not clear whether Google plans to add these features to the SDK at a later date.
The arrival of a Windows Phone 8 version of Google mobile advertising solution may raise a few eyebrows, given Google's stance over supporting Windows Phone in other product areas.
Google has stated, on a number of occasions, that it has not developed versions of its own apps (e.g. Google+) for Windows Phone because the number of active users on the platform do not justify the investment, although it can also been seen as a deliberate strategy decision not to support a rival ecosystem.
The release of the AdMob SDK for Windows Phone 8 should not be be read as a statement of intent with regards to other Google products. The reality is that demand for advertising platform support is driven by developers, rather than consumers. Moreover, as something that is distributed as part of many third party products (i.e. apps and games) it can reach a greater number of users, more quickly, than a stand alone product. As a result, the point at which creating a Windows Phone 8 version of the AdMob SDK can be justified, from an investment standpoint, may, theoretically, be sooner than for any og Google's other products.
Of course the reality is that any provision of a Google service on a Microsoft platform, or vice verse, has at least some business strategy dimension. In this case a desire to distribute advertising as widely as possible would seem likely to be the overriding factor.