As if there was any question left that Apple is preparing to tear into Google, all of that has been washed away with persistent rumors that Apple is preparing a mobile ad network that will take take on all the other companies in the space that is the burgeoning mobile marketplace.
Google is the undisputed king of the hill when it comes to the Web advertising space, but on the mobile front, things are still pretty fragmented. You have companies like Millennial Media and AdMob, which Google has now acquired for $750 million after a deal with Apple fell through, duking it out. The latter has a pretty firm hold on the majority of the applications in the Apple App Store, and that has to be bothering Apple CEO Steve Jobs as the two companies seem to be at war with one another as of late. (despite Mr. Jobs and Google CEO Eric Schmidt having a very public coffee date recently that was a rather obvious publicity stunt)
There is a lot of money being made from mobile advertising, and even more to be made as a slew of new devices come out such as the Apple iPad. So, wouldn’t it be something if Apple released its own mobile advertising platform so that it can collect some of the revenue those other companies are making off those billions of apps that have been downloaded that serve their ads?
Well, if the rumors are true, that is exactly what is happening on April 7th.
According to MediaPost, Apple is going to be making an announcement to advertising firms on Madison Ave. on April 7th that it is launching an advertising platform tentatively named, yes, you guessed it, “iAd”. The sources that couldn’t give much detail said that this was built off of the framework the company got when it purchased the advertising firm Quattro in Jan. for $300 million.
As Apple continues to get more focused on mobile devices, this only makes sense that it would want a slice of the advertising revenue; why should the company keep letting other companies profit off of their hard work? They developed the platform, the store and the market, and yet third-party companies are making bucket loads of money off of serving ads on the applications it holds for developers that go on to devices they make. While this is probably not going to cut into the percentage of the advertising that the developers make — if anything, they might make a bit more as Apple tries to entice them to their side — this could add a healthy amount to Apple’s bottom line. They will now be able to give developers one-stop shopping from SDK, to advertising to distribution, and they can possibly bring in bigger name advertisers via Madison Avenue as the Apple brand name will open more doors than some of the other players can do.
Despite what ever friendly overtures have been made over a cup of coffee between Google and Apple, things are about to get a whole lot uglier a whole lot faster if this proves to be true.