Feeds

Apple ads to target your iTunes history

Jobs knows what you want

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Apple is using the immense amount of data that it has collected from its 150 million iTunes accounts to help its iAd advertisers target their pitches to users of iOS 4 devices.

"Apple knows what you've downloaded, how much time you spend interacting with applications and knows even what you've downloaded, don't like and deleted,” iCrossing head mobile marketeer Rachel Pasqua is reported to have said on Apple's iAd data leveraging here.

Demographic data is pure gold to advertisers attempting to target their offerings to receptive audiences. If you, for example, have downloaded a Dora the Explorer game, odds are you have children in your household; if you've installed a Bloomberg stock tracker onto your iPhone, there's an even chance that you might be flush enough to be a target for a Nissan Leaf iAd pitch.

Apple won't be sharing your individual, personal data, according to Bloomberg. Instead, Apple will make available "buckets" of applications to advertisers, with those selections based on users' purchase histories. We can imagine, for example, that purchasers of multiple fart apps — 701 and counting — might be offered tickets to Jackass 3-D when it's released this October, while those inducements might be withheld from iTunes accounts whose music purchases are heavily weighted with offerings from Deutsche Grammophon.

As Google has proven, there's plenty of good money to be made in online advertising, and mobile ads are fast-growing segment. Apple's iAd platform is its attempt to carve a hefty chunk out of that market, which marketing firm eMarketer projects will grow to $1.56bn by 2013.

Apple is aggressively promoting its iAd platform to both advertisers and developers. When chief executive Steve Jobs detailed the platform on June 7 at the announcement of the iPhone 4, he said that its core value was "To help our developers earn money so they continue to create free and low-cost apps". Perhaps — there's a good argument to be made that the more "free and low-cost apps" that are available for Cupertino's mobile devices, the more those devices will continue to leap off the shelves of Apple's retail store.

Also, when Jobs introduced the iAd platform back in April when he unveiled what was then called iPhone OS 4.0, he said that Apple had "no plans to become a worldwide ad agency". At that time, however, he also noted that his goal was to have one billion ad impressions per day by the end of the year — which sounds rather like a worldwide ad agency to this observer.

Apple hosts and sells iAd ads, and provides 60 per cent of the take to the developers of the apps that host them. As Jobs told his audience of devs on June 7: "All you have to do is tell us where to put them, and then make money." Forty per cent of that money, will, however, stay in Cupertino.

As Apple has said, its iTunes App Store isn't a money-maker, but instead a break-even proposition designed to entice developers. How close to break-even the iAds platform will be, however, remains to be seen.

And there's still a legal thicket that Jobs & Co must negotiate before they can confidently project future iAd earnings. The US Federal Trade Commission, for example, is reportedly considering a possible investigation of Apple's restrictions on developers sharing statistical or demographic information with advertising-service providers other than Apple.

Referring to the change in Apple's Developer Program License Agreement that instituted these restrictions, Google's head mobile-advertising honcho Omar Hamoui, the founder and CEO of AdMob, which Google swallowed last November, blogged: "Let's be clear. This change is not in the best interests of users or developers."

iAds may have launched last Thursday, but it's not yet clear whether Cupertino will be able to keep its devs on the reservation — those license-agreement restrictions may run afoul of the FTC. What is clear, however, is that if you've ever made a purchase from the iTunes music or apps stores, your personal buying history now resides in one of those aforementioned "buckets". ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.