It has been several days since Apple rolled out its iAd advertising platform and from the first wave of accounts, it is a success.
One developer, Jason Ting, famously posted details of his initial iAd earnings for an LED camera light application - he has seen a click-through rate of nearly 12% and earned a total of $1,372.20 in revenue in a single day. A big reason for the success is, of course, that users are clicking on Apple's ads far more than usual. How long, though, will that novelty last? Also, considering the paltry number of ads that are being served up on the platform thus far - most notably ads for Nissan and Unilever's Dove brand - what conclusions can truly be reached?
In fact, the service is too new to come to definitive and final conclusions. Consider the following pros and cons, however, as the weeks unfold:
Con: Apple's ads don't refresh as quickly as other ads - thus developers might not earn as much over time, theorizes Kenneth Ballenegger (via the Wall Street Journal). The amount iAds pay is "a high number when you get it, but you don’t get it very often," Dave Yonamine, the director of marketing at MobilityWare, told the Journal. "The total revenue level is pretty minuscule compared to our other [ad] networks," he said. "We can't rely on it yet."
Pro: Apple is analyzing the purchasing habits of its 150 million iTunes users in order to help serve up targeted ads through iAd, according to many media reports. "Apple knows what you've downloaded, and how much time you spend interacting with applications," said Rachel Pasqua, director of mobile at iCrossing, a marketing company. "It even knows what you’ve downloaded, don't like and deleted." (via the Telegraph).
It has been reported that Unilever, for example, is using iAd to target married men who are in their late 30s and have children, with ads for its Dove Men+Care range. Apple then overlays that with the iTunes information and targets quite well and quite surgically, according to the Telegraph.
Con: Apple is analyzing the purchasing habits of its 150 million iTunes users in order to help serve up targeted ads through iAd. The U.S. and German regulatory agencies have voiced concerns about this as a possible privacy issue.
Another Pro/Con: Apple is the first to say these are still early days. Apple spokeswoman Trudy Miller says that while the corporation has already sold more than $60 million in iAd placements, the network is still only just launching, according to iPod News Network. "The leading global brands we're working with are developing iAds timed with their seasonal marketing campaigns, such as back to school and the holiday shopping season. We're just taking our first few steps. We'll work our way up to walking and running as this year progresses," says Miller.