16 Apr 2010

Are Apple iAds a game changer in mobile?

iAds represents a farily significant shift in the thinking about what mobile advertising can or should look like.

Whenever anyone in the world builds and submits an iPhone/iPad app to the Apple store they will have the opportunity to accept advertising into their app. Any advertising revenue generated within a particular app will be split between the developer (60%) and Apple (40%).

With more than 200,000 apps in the Apple store already, developers are no longer making money from apps on paid for downloads due to the sheer scale of the store and the variety on offer. iAds plan to change this by offering an easy revenue source for developers. Since there are currently 3 billion iPhone apps already in use around the world this gives the advertising community the possibility of more about 1 billion impressions every 24 hours to advertise in. That's a big number in anyone's i-book.

The new format provides a couple of key potential advantages:

1. Creativity - iAds brings the quality of existing online rich media to the mobile platform for the first time. (video, games, downloads etc). It also adds the additional iPhone functionality opportunities such as "shake the phone" functionality and GPS etc. Creatives have long been their usual moany selves (sorry, but you have) about the lack of options available to them on mobile. With this development in-app advertising creative can be as innovative as the apps themselves. Or the creatives. Let's see whether anyone really takes this by the scruff of the neck and shows what can be done.

2. Targeting - In theory, iAds offers the ability to tie a rich mix of current location, billing, preference, demographics & behaviour, to deliver pretty comprehensive targeting capabilities. One note of caution - consumer backlash around privacy implications means that Apple will need to tread very carefully to allow this to fulfill it's potential.

If that's not enough of an incentive then consider this - the Apple PR machine will guarantee that everyone in the market for a smartphone will see the new iPhone & the capabilities of OS4, and as we have seen with the recent iPad campaigns, they always champion brands that make their platform look great.

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