Thursday, April 08, 2010

Did Google Just Get iPwned?

“Search is not happening on phones.” When Steve Jobs speaks, hyperbole follows. Based on their acquisition of AdMob which is currently being challenged by the FTC, I think Google would probably disagree with that statement. In the world of mobile OSs, though, Google’s Android is second fiddle to the iPhone by a large margin. Apple dominates Google in this environment almost as much as Google dominates Yahoo in the PC-based search engine competition.

“People are using apps, and this is where the opportunity to deliver advertising is.” So the announcement today that Apple is building “iAd” into the iPhone 4.0 operating system, which will be available for iPhones in the summer and iPads in the fall, is fascinating. The potential of these in-app ads as demonstrated by Jobs is revolutionary in terms of entertainment and interactivity value. For example, a sample Nike ad had the ability to custom design sneakers, as well as store location services built into it. A Toy Story 3 ad had video clips, promotional artwork (which could be set as the phone wallpaper) and games. I imagine it wouldn’t be too much of a step further to add showtimes and ticket sale capabilities.

In true Jobsian fashion, Apple said there is a potential for over 1 billion impressions per day. Without knowing how much of the ad platform is predicated on multitasking, this may be an over-estimation. The ad content is run without leaving the app that presented it. Multitasking will not be available for the iPhone 2G or 3G or early iPod Touch models.

There’s a lot to still be determined about the ad development and buying process, but from a creative perspective, this could potentially revolutionize and define what mobile advertising will be for years to come.

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