What Are iAds?

By Matt Ballek, Supervisor, Natural Search

On April 8th Apple unveiled a mobile advertising platform called iAds. The platform, built into the latest iPhone software, will allow ads to appear natively in applications without taking users to a web browser or away from the application they were enjoying. Apple sees opportunity in apps, not search when it comes to mobile advertising, and here's why:

  • On average, people spend 30 minutes a day inside Apps

  • An ad every 3 minutes would equal 10 ads per device every day

  • With 100 million devices by summer that equals 1 Billion ad opportunities per day.

With iAds, Apple is attempting to offer the interaction of rich media ads combined with the emotion of television ads:

Using HTML5, Apple iAds can have animation, video, games, maps, downloads and more. One of the examples used in the keynote was an ad for the upcoming Toy Story 3:

As you can see, the "ad" has information on characters, games to play, videos to watch, free backgrounds for your iPhone/iPod Touch, a purchasable app, and a movie theater locator. You can see the full demo in action below:

My Questions:

Are iAds the same for the iPhone and iPad?

Will brands need to develop one version of the iAd to be used on all Apple devices or will brands/agencies need to create two different versions? Will there be a difference in cost to display iAds on different devices?

Are iAds for large brands only ?
Since iAds are built in HTML5, can any company large or small begin running iAds in iPhone applications or will only large brands be able to afford the development of these ads? Will iAds be subject to the same approval standards as applications in the app store?

Are iAds easy to copy on other devices ?
Again, I'd like to bring up the fact that iAds are simply HTML5 applications, so what would stop other mobile platforms from taking the iAd idea and running with it on their own devices?

What are your thoughts?
Do you think Apple's iAds will be a success? How do you see brands using them connect with their consumers? Drop me a line in the comments below.


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