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Millennial Media, dwarfed by Google, but still robust, report shows

Google is dominating the mobile advertising marketplace, but Baltimore-based company Millennial Media remains in the mix. [Above: IDC market share breakout for mobile ad industry in 2010]

That's the gist of a market research report by IDC, which surveyed the mobile online advertising landscape and includes some good detail on Millennial, a four-year-old company in the relatively young space of mobile advertising.

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The IDC report, which I obtained, is multi-faceted: Google dominates in mobile search and display advertising, while Apple and Millennial come in distant second and third, respectively.

Search advertising attracts more money than display. That said, Millennial is doing well in display advertising, which is its core business. Google has a 19 percent market share, Apple has 18.8 percent, and Millennial has 15.4 percent. That's pretty good. See the chart below:

In terms of gross revenue, Millennial in 2010 is expected to make about $60 million. That's dwarfed by Google's mobile ad revenue of $518 million. Apple is expected to make about $74 million, IDC reported.

Google dominates about 59 percent of the market, Apple about 8.4 percent and Millennial 6.8 percent, according to IDC.

For a small company like Millennial, it's not bad being in third place when the next largest competitors are Google and Apple.

So what does all this mean for Millennial? Karsten Weide, the IDC research vice president who wrote the report, said that mobile advertising has more than doubled from 2009 to this year, from $368 million to $877 million.

As the pie gets bigger, Millennial's share is also expected to expand. And Weide estimates that the mobile ad market growth rate will be 120 percent, meaning it could reach $1.9 billion.

In short, mobile ads are gonna be hot for a few more years to come.

Weide predicts that Google will be the biggest beneficiary of the market expansion, since mobile search ads account for most of the spending and as Android mobile devices proliferate.

The analyst predicted that we'll see more acquisitions in the mobile ad industry. Weide wondered if Millennial, which has been rumored in that past to be in deal talks with BlackBerry/RIM and Microsoft, has been "driving too hard a bargain when talking to potential acquirers." But if it relented somewhat, it could be sold, he wrote.

Millennial executives have long said their plan is to take the company public in an IPO.

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