Apple’s getting into the advertising game with their iAds network, and Jobs says the goal is Emotion + Interactivity. The idea is to make it painless for developers to put ads in their apps: just tell Apple where you want them and they’ll inject it themselves. Likewise, it should be painless for viewers to see them: tap them and it’ll expand. You’ll never be hijacked into the browser.
They’ve only been selling iAds for eight weeks, and already attracted a huge number of advertisers, including Nissan, Citi, Unilever, AT&T, Chanel, GE, Liberty Mutual, State Farm, Geico, Sears, JCPenny, Target, Best Buy, DirecTV, TBS network, and Disney.” Overall, iAds has brought in $60M in advertising, and makes up 48% of US Mobile Display Advertising Spending in the second half of 2010.
The demonstrated advertisements look pretty good, admittedly. Certainly more like interactive applications than musty old banner ads. They’re almost like mini-apps that dynamically download when needed into an existing program. The new interactive Nissan Leaf iAd is particularly impressive, which allows you to interactively compare a $1 of gas when driving the fully electric Leaf compared to other hybrids.
iAds probably isn’t going to be very good for consumers — I despair that there will be literally no reason for a developer not to put ads even in paid apps anymore, and that too much of the iPhone’s screen real estate will be taken up with advertisements — but it should be a windfall for both Apple and the developers taking part in the iAds ecosystem.