Norwegian browser company Opera Mediaworks   Mobile   Tablet   Interactive TVOpera, has spun off its advertising business as a new entity called Opera Mediaworks.

The company says that this entity will be fully owned by Opera and will focus on providing advertising, content distribution and monetization services to the mobile marketplaces. Opera previously managed its advertising platform as a part of the parent company.

Opera claims that its advertising platform caters to more than 80,000 mobile sites and mobile applications, and manages around 50 billion ad impressions per month. Interestingly, the company claims that Opera Mediaworks is currently the world’s largest mobile ad platform.Opera had recently claimed to have around 300 million monthly users across its desktop and mobile platform, including 237 million monthly users on the mobile platform.

Opera Mediaworks Performance: Coinciding with this spin-off, Opera has also launched a performance-based mobile advertising platform called Opera Mediaworks Performance. The company states that this platform will provide advertisers with real-time targeting tools and reporting on mobile ad campaigns.

Offerings: Besides this, Opera noted that Opera Mediaworks will focus on four service areas namely Ad-mediation, ad-exchange and real-time bidding (RTB) through its AdMarvel and Opera Mediaworks Ad Exchange; Mobile Ad agency and networks through Mobile Theory and 4th Screen Advertising, Opera Mobile Store and Opera Payment Exchange.

Why did it spin off?

We believe that Opera has made this spin off to consolidate all its mobile ads business and create a unified brand entity to advertisers, publishers, mobile operators and others, while the parent company focuses on developing the browser. Interestingly, this would also mean that Opera will be providing segmented results for its ads business and its browser business in the future, which will give an indication on how both the businesses are doing.

A TechCrunch report however states that Opera has decided to spin off its advertising services to make the long rumored Opera acquisition easier. While that’s a compelling argument, we do not believe Opera would be selling off its browser company anytime soon. The company had recently announced that it will be adopting Webkit rendering engine, used by Apple Safari and Chrome browser, in all its future products, thereby dropping its own Presto rendering engine. It had also acquired Skyfire Labs for $155 million earlier this month.

Other developments

Last year, Mobile ad network InMobi had inked a deal with Opera to launch its mobile payment platform SmartPay, on the Opera browser. SmartPay will allow users using the Opera browser to purchase digital goods from the publishers that have partnered InMobi.

In 2010, Opera had acquired Admarvel to expand its portfolio of products and services to include ad monetization services for Opera branded mobile products and services offered by mobile operators and content partners.