Is Apple creating the hottest real estate in advertising?

29 Apr 2010

Advertising on the new Apple iPad tablet computer and iPhone 4 devices may attract rates as high as US$1m and big brands that become first movers in the area may pay as much as US$10m.

A few years ago, to suggest that a computer manufacturer would become a leading force in advertising might have gotten you laughed out of the room but the moves by Apple with its new iAd platform signal a major turning point.

More manufacturers will no doubt enter the ab fab mobile advertising fray. HP’s acquisition of Palm for US$1.2bn will see the manufacturer roll out smartphones and tablet computers with Web OS.

Intel recently demonstrated Android on its Atom processor, signalling a raft of Google Android-based smartphone, netbook and tablet computer possibilities, keeping Google in the game in this unfolding new market. Google’s acquisition of AdMob is being studied by ant-trust investigators.

Microsoft, for its part, yesterday unveiled Windows Embedded Standard 7, heralding a future for the operating system on set top boxes, digital TVs and other connected media devices, allowing OEMs to create new revenue streams out of content.

About the iAd mobile advertising platform

Apple’s iAd mobile advertising platform, the company says, combines the emotion of TV ads with the interactivity of web ads.

Apple may charge big brands as much as US$10m to be part of the first handful of marketers at the launch, according to the Wall Street Journal. Apple will sell and serve the ads, and developers will receive an industry-standard 60pc of iAd revenue.

“Today, when users click on mobile ads they are almost always taken out of their app to a web browser, which loads the advertiser’s webpage,” the company said recently. “Users must then navigate back to their app, and it is often difficult or impossible to return to exactly where they left.

“iAd solves this problem by displaying full-screen video and interactive ad content without ever leaving the app, and letting users return to their app anytime they choose.”

Apple says iPhone OS 4 will allow developers to easily embed iAd opportunities within their apps, and the ads are dynamically and wirelessly delivered to the device.

By John Kennedy

Photo: The Apple iPad. It may cost some companies US$10m to advertise first on the device

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years