Wednesday, June 09, 2010

iAds to Replace Your Ads & Brand On iPhones & iPads? Out of Control?

Yesterday, I blogged about a major Apple development that received scant media attention -- new Safari 5 -- and its enabling of the eradication of both content branding and advertising when serving up content. My bottom line point -- content providers and advertisers, "Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid."

Given that context, is it mere coincidence that Apple concurrently introduced iAds -- its own proprietary ad network specifically targeting iPhone and iPad users?

Well, I don't believe in coincidences.

So, what's going on here? Although I can't say for sure, it certainly seems like one possibility is that Apple now may be eradicating your ads in favor of its own "cooler" ads. Out goes one -- in goes the other (yet you still may be paying for impressions that, in effect, have been erased by Apple's invisible hand).

Even more than that, as discussed in my post yesterday, Safari 5 apparently enables the eradication of the brands of content owners. What does this mean? It means that content providers may be supplying the content that makes the iPad useful in the first place -- but, essentially without meaningful attribution (in Apple's own example, the Spin magazine is gone baby gone!). Does this mean that Apple also may be trying to, in effect, take credit for the labors of third party content providers? I know that sounds a bit twisted, but that is one of the effects.

At a minimum, all of this reflects Apple's relentless quest for total control of the iPhone/iPad experience, all of which sounds good for the user (but is bad bad bad for content owners and advertisers on which backs the iPhone's and iPad's value is built). And, at worst, perhaps it is more than that. Perhaps it is outright ad replacement with a different kind of ad ... Apple's!

And, Apple's next quest for overall domination? The living room. While there surprisingly were no Apple TV announcements in Steve Jobs' keynote on Monday, don't worry -- those will be coming soon. There is absolutely no way that Apple will not seek total control of your big screen experience as well.