Apple Has Revolutionized How We Think About Ads, You Just Don’t Know It Yet.

During yesterday’s Apple developer preview, the latest addition to Apple’s arsenal was unveiled, iAd. The platform aims to make it easy for developers to monetize their free iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad applications by providing a simple, Apple controlled platform that allows them to provide ads to their users.

While there is nothing revolutionary about ad networks, I believe this specific implementation is. Why?

For starters, much like the app store, iAd provides developers the opportunity to reach millions of users with a low cost of entry (implement iAd into your app and receive a 60/40 split of revenue). Secondly, advertisers suddenly have an entirely new canvas, apps (apps are the new website after all), that allows them to reach users in all new ways.

The real magic, however, is the user experience and closed system that Apple has created.

Critics will respond to the phrase “closed system” with anger, fear, and even flat out rage but let’s think about this before making any final judgements. The reason iAd has a chance to change how users interact with ads is simple: The fear and unknown of clicking on an ad is gone. Apple is throwing its brand behind an entire ad network to create the perception that if you trust Apple, you can trust these ads too! Worried about installing malware from clicking on that ad? Hate that ads open up a new window? No problem, Apple has solved this by keeping these ads within the app itself and vetting all of the ads on their network.

iAd reminds me of two ad networks I’m already a fan of, The Deck and Fusion Ads. Their ads are well designed, they advertise in applications I use and love, and they vet everyone on the network before accepting them. If you’ve ever used the free Twitter clients Tweetie or Twitterrific, you’ve seen these ads.

If Apple can convince its users that it’s safe to click anything with the iAd logo they will have single handedly changed the perception users have of ads, resulting in more clicks and more money made by both Apple and developers.

They will have done this by taking advantage of a closed system, their own brand, and a platform that their users already love (the app store).

I’m curious to hear how some of Austin’s local startups and App Store developers will react to and implement iAd (this is your cue to comment).

Developers can start taking advantage of the new tools in OS 4.0 today but we won’t actually see the new ads or other features in our apps until this summer. It’s going to be very exciting to see how this plays out. My conclusion? Google should start worrying right about now.

Comments

  1. Google ads are mostly vetted for as well, and generally do not contain malware or spam. I don't really see how iAd is any way different from AdSense.

    A closed system doesn't inherently make for a better experience. The iTunes AppStore is a closed system with a rather selective approval process, yet there is tones of junkware in there (how many iFart applications do we have?).

  2. They're ads. They're going to be annoying no matter what and we WILL find a way to block them, come hell or high water.

    Additionally, Apple's quality control is slipping in regards to areas other than their hardware or software they directly control. If they can't control the quality of the apps released for their platform, how do they even stand a chance of QC on advertising?

  3. jmathai says:

    Don't most ad networks (decent ones anyway) vet their ads? When you get to a certain volume there has to be a % of ads which fly under the radar…but that's the exception and not the rule.

  4. coreyward says:

    The only place in our life we've managed to really block ads decently is on the web. The only other area we've made any serious attempt at doing so is television with DVRs (or pirating content later off of the internet). Your conclusion regarding blocking ads is wholly unfounded.

    Apple's QC is slipping? Short of personal opinion, what is your source for this?

  5. coreyward says:

    It's not that it is an ad network that makes it different. That's what is pointed out here. It's the ads and the way they're handled that makes a difference. You can doubt it all you care to, but if it makes iPhone users more likely to “tap” on ads and learn about the offering they have a winner.

    Apple will vet ads and pay developers. This makes life as a free-app developer much simpler. Provided there's decent tracking and such, this also makes larger companies more likely to put some of their ad budget into iPhone ads. They can't do that on AdSense right now.

  6. I agree that iAd will become successful simply because of the success of the App Store and the nauseating loyalty to the Apple brand. However, I disagree with the closed model around their mobile products, and I still want to know who the hell purposely clicks on the ads in a iPhone app when they are using it?

  7. I’m doing a research about communicative strategies in food advertisement. Please, write your opinion about:
    WHAT LINGUISTIC ELEMENTS IN THE PRINTED ADV TEXT MAY INFLUENCE ON YOUR CHOICE OF BUYING THE PRODUCTS:
    - simple words
    -phrases
    -sentences
    - full description of the product
    -idioms
    -general idea
    -general appearance of the text
    Thank you for your answers.

  8. I'm fascinated by this development. This is largely old news now, but having it present and breathing is a whole different thing from an announcement. I was just talking to my biz partner yesterday about apps with ads in them and the inevitability of it all. It was also worth noting Jeffrey Hayzlett's comments and admonitions that Email and other digital mediums are trashed by their ads, so Social Media and Mobile Apps need to watch out and not F' it up. That Apple who has such a hand in the UX and delivery on their platforms has taken up the mantle of ad delivery really says something big. I personally haven't witnessed their QC slipping… much to teh contrary, as a life long Apple user, I think they are stronger now than ever! I agree that it translates into “this is safe to click on” for the user and that's a VERY key distinction.

    Great article!

    Darin Kirschner~
    @dkdzyn
    @muvmi

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