Confirming the widely reported rumour, Apple last night launched its own iPhone app advertising network: iAd. Despite Steve Jobs taking a verbal pot shot at Google during the unveiling, GoMo News is sure that Google is extremely happy with this news – but Flash providers definitely aren’t.
Last year, there were two extremely high-profile company acquisitions announced in mobile advertising. Apple bought Quattro Wireless, and Google announced its intention to buy AdMob. The launch of iAd last night represents Apple putting Quattro to good work. Jobs claimed that the state of in-app advertising sucks at the moment, and that iAd would realise its full potential.
Here’s how it would work:
iAds will have the same access to native iPhone functions as an application would. The example Jobs used of this was an ad for Toy Story 3 that had an actual playable game in the ad, and looked essentially the same as a native application. iAds will be served through the application you are currently using, so you will stay in that app (which developers will like). The entire thing is done in HTML 5, not Flash – which has made some observers distinctly unhappy.
GoMo News was contacted by Bluestreak Technology, one of the worlds biggest providers of embedded Flash features in mobile applications. Dominique Jodoin, President and CEO said “from multi-tasking to folders, the new functionality Apple previewed for the upcoming version of the 4.0 OS addresses many of the features loyal iPhone users have demanded since the device’s launch. Glaringly absent, however, is support for Flash, a feature which, surveys indicate, consistently remains one of the top items consumers would like to have on the next generation of iPhones. Flash is used on over 85% of the top 100 websites and 75% of all web videos. Until the iPhone supports Flash technology, like most other wireless devices do, and, specifically, many competitive Android-powered devices, it will never offer a complete data services experience to consumers.”
At a slightly more sinister level, Jobs said that iAds could serve 1 billion ad impressions every day – by throwing an ad at the user every three minutes.
What we think?
Jobs claimed that Google had announced its intentions to buy AdMob because it didn’t want Apple to get it first. Ok, so maybe that’s possible. But Google is most likely doing a little dance of joy at the iAds announcement. The acquisition of AdMob isn’t going all that smoothly for Google, because there are a lot of regulatory challenges to the deal. Opponents claim it would create a mobile advertising entity so large that it would destroy all competition. Now Google can point at iAds as a lasting and powerful competitor, which strengthens the chances that the AdMob deal will go through.