Though the whole world was focused on the new iPhone 4 at the WWDC event, Steve Jobs used it as a perfect platform to unveil more details about iAd – Apple’s mobile advertising platform. Apple announced that it will debut its iAd mobile advertising network on July 1 on iPhone and iPod touch devices running its iOS 4 software platform. Jobs mentioned that Apple has iAd commitments for 2010 totaling over $60 million and predicted that his company would control nearly 50% of the US mobile advertising market in six months.
Apple has signed up a number of high-profile brands as iAd customers including AT&T, Best Buy, Chanel, Citi Target, Nissan, The Walt Disney Studios and Unilever. The list appears even more impressive when you consider that Apple has been selling advertisements for just eight weeks prior to the WWDC keynote. Unilever has already confirmed that it will be the first brand to start a campaign on Apple’s iAd network. During the WWDC event, Steve Jobs even showed off one of Nissan’s new interactive ads which lets users to sign up for notifications for company’s new electric car launches. The highlight of the campaign is that it allows users to move a digital car around on the screen using simple navigation features.
“This platform is going to help our developers make money so that they can continue to write free and low-cost apps for consumers. iAd offers advertisers the emotion of TV with the interactivity of the web, and offers users a new way to explore ads without being hijacked out of their favorite apps. iAds will reach millions of iPhone and iPod touch users—a highly desirable demographic for advertisers—and provide developers a new way to earn money so they can continue developing free and low cost applications.”” said Steve Jobs.
The iAd revenue model lets developers keep 60 per cent of the revenue while the remaining 40 per cent is pocketed by Apple. IMO, the USP of iAd is its unique ability to let users view ads even when while they are playing a game or watching a video on their iPad.
iAd will be available as part of the iOS4 software update, and will work on the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, as well as second- and third-generation iPod touch devices. Will it live up to its hype of being a game changer in the mobile advertising space? Only time will tell. Thankfully, July 1 isn’t too far.
Check out the iAd demo in WWDC 2010 to see how it works.
Gaurav Kheterpal is a seasoned technology professional with nearly a decade of experience in Mobile, Web 2.0 and Open Source Technologies. He's an Apple fanboy and an iPhone lover/ critic since it's early days. He loves exploring, developing and reviewing iPhone apps, as well as covering news stories about Apple and its products.