Usually the last thing we want to think about when we're talking apps is ads. Admit it, most of you either block them, or ignore them, but to developers they are an important revenue stream. According to Googler Wayne Pan they're the best way to monetize an app on Android. I think the folks behind Angry Birds would agree.
We're at Google I/O, and I sat in on the developer breakout session "Don’t just build a mobile app. Build a business". Wayne talked for about an hour (with the Q and A) and give a very nice walkthrough of using tools like AdMob to help make apps popular and profitable. If you're a developer and couldn't make it to Google I/O, you should check out the livestream recording here, but if you're not a developer, I've got a couple highlights after the break.
Google takes ad revenue seriously. They want to work with developers and help them monetize their apps in a way that the end user will appreciate. They provide the tools in a pretty friendly way both in the SDK and through the AdMob website. Tools like targeting specific Android devices and an easy way to cross promote your own applications via house ads.
Why should we care about all this? Because Google is an Ad driven company, and they get it. There is no doubt that a free, ad supported model is the best way to make money in the mobile app space, and Google makes it very easy and very tempting to developers.
I know in the end everybody hates ads. But after attending the breakout session today, I think the next 200,000 apps will get here a lot faster than the first 200,000 did, and we're going to have the ad supported model to thank for it. If you're a developer, you'll want to be sure to check out Google's new guide to the app galaxy and learn more.