Blog Industry News Mobile Planning Strategy Tools

Apple’s iAds Product

Don’t Come Knocking Unless You’ve Got $10 million?

Just as Apple is going gangbusters with new product launches for iPad and upgrades for the iPhone, getting messages to the audiences that use these platforms still seems to be a bit of a mystery.  Details about the platform should start pouring in, given that it is scheduled to launch July 1, 2010.  Stay tuned on that!

Until then, real details (as opposed to speculation) about the Apple iAds platform are few and far between. Here’s what we’ve been able to pull together so far, with thanks to iPadModo:

  • Agencies might be blocked out
  • Clients that have deep pockets will be able to develop ads directly with Apple
  • The pricing will likely be based on a fixed Cost-per-thousand (CPM) rate ($10CPM to start) AND a Cost-per-click rate of $2.00
  • Small businesses look like they will be blocked out completely
  • Ad networks will likely be blocked out of the ability to ads on any Apple products
  • A full probe from the FTC will investigate Apple’s forced closure of iAds to third parties

So what does this all mean? It’s really hard to tell at this stage, but our sentiment is that Apple has something big in mind for the future of advertising and we’re even finding ourselves questioning whether or not ‘advertising’ as we know it with the web world will have much of a future.

The only question remains:  will that be good or bad?

We’ve already seen that the future of ‘contact’ with users is via the app.  Again, it was Apple that really made a run at the app universe.  They created a digital ‘ecosystem’ that would allow creators to build whatever they wanted and sell it via the App Store, generating revenue for themselves and negating the need to have advertisers support their content-driven model.

We suspect they’ll be making a similar run with controlling what happens in the display ad universe.

We’re torn on this issue.

Our Future is With Apps

The reality is that the web is full of junk.  Putting a filter on that junk will make for more profound and rich user experiences, but at what price?  Obviously, for some Apple platform users, the price may be nothing at all, but for most, it will likely come at a price of a thousand small subscriptions.

We saw this with iTunes, as music that had previously been ‘let free’ by P2P platforms was corralled and brought back into the industry fold, with users paying for their content $0.99 at a time.

We’re seeing the same trend unfold with apps, where users are downloading the paid version of nearly everything instead of getting the junkier free versions that are almost always loaded with display ads.

Apple is poised to generate substantial revenue from all of these apps and we certainly can’t blame them for this.

An Ad-Free Future?

Google’s Caffeine platform will only help to amplify the level of noise that’s already out there.  We posted our thoughts on Google Caffeine yesterday.

Increasingly, it’s looking like the range of extremes with Apple vs Google will come down to a simple comparison of shopping in a high-end location like Pusateri’s in Toronto for something extremely specific vs wandering in a big-box store, not knowing what you’re really looking for.

Apple will be out the control and quality.

Google will be about the volume and quantity.

Apple vs Google:  Which will be better?

Despite the prospect of an ad-free web universe, we still lean towards Google, only because Google is making a more obvious commitment towards being open.  Android and Google Docs are based on open-source platforms and it’s likely we’ll see more products emerge from Google that harness the prospects associated with open-source tools.

Whether or not that’s really true remains to be seen.

Apple, on the other hand, is building a closed network.  As you pay for your content via an Apple app or platform, you negate your ability to transfer or transform that content to something else.  Ultimately, this contradicts the powerful force of the fabric of the Internet, where content has been released for very positive and potent value for all users in the world.

A simple example can be seen with not-for-profits.   Apple has already been criticized for not having a plan for not-for-profits or charities and it’s starting to look like it will block out small businesses as well.

To win us over, Apple needs to find a way to make a commitment to open data and open content.  They need to position themselves as being friendly to small businesses, not-for-profits and other organizations that benefit from the web.  However, we doubt we’ll see that any time soon.