A Very Fine Line

2010 April 12
by Dave

Apple runs the risk of learning the completely wrong lessons from Google with the new iAd platform recently announced for iPhone OS 4. Apparently someone at Apple heard that ads are awesome and make lots of money, and that location based mobile ads make even more money. So Apple went out and bought Quattro, a mobile advertising agency.

Looking at the iAd demo it becomes obvious that apple has definitely figured out what advertisers and crafters of advertisements want in a mobile ad platform. Too bad that nobody at Apple has ever done a Google search and looked at the ads that have printed so much money for Google. Google’s central epiphany was that the best way for a platform holder with a ridiculously large install base to monetize ad content is to make the ads as unobtrusive and relevant as possible. Thus, precisely because the ads aren’t pretty, the people who click on your ad are likely to be very valuable eyeballs and every one else is likely to not be cheesed off at being subjected to your ads.

I have volumes more to say on this subject, but it is all pretty obvious if you care to ponder the nature of internet advertising for a bit (I assume you do since you have read this far). So I will leave it at stating that I think Apple has scored an own goal with this one. I doubt that we’re in stoppage time of a 0 – 0 match, so it won’t be fatal, but it certainly wasn’t the game changer that I was expecting out of this newest iPhone announcement. Maybe that will come when Apple gets around to talking about the next iPhone hardware upgrade.

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