With iAds, Steve Jobs is seeking to integrate advertisements into the apps that run on the iPhone/iPad and that people pay to download. This Apple advertising initiative has some relevance for the readers of this blog because I believe that smartphones will be the devices of choice for physicians to review clinical records maintained in EMR, including lab test results. Much of this functionality will be provided by apps, some of which may contain advertisements, perhaps from pharmaceutical companies. Here is an excerpt from a recent article about iAds featuring quotes from Jobs (see: Reflecting on Apple’s iAd Play):
“Most mobile advertising really sucks,” declared Steve Jobs in his preamble to the iAds unveiling. Sure enough, the demonstration iAds drew a sharp and heady contrast with the incumbent WAP [Wireless Access Protocol; an open international standard for application-layer network communications in a wireless-communication environment] banner model, combining, as Jobs pointed out, the emotional impact of television with the rich functionality and transactional possibilities of a native application. Much was made of the idea that these apps could appear within other apps, take over the screen and be explored by users without leaving the original app or losing context, which would be restored when the advert-app was done....To answer [the question of audience size for "app" advertising], Jobs declared the platform could offer as many as a billion impressions per day. That’s one ad every three minutes across an average app usage time of 30 minutes per day, multiplied by 100 million devices....I’ll just mention, for comparison, that Google’s ad exchange is estimated to handle about 10 billion impressions per day on the Internet.With the possible exception of beer commercials on TV, I don't particularly like advertisements and usually try my best to avoid them whenever I can. I understand Jobs' goal of making them exciting and entertaining when integrating them into iPhone apps. However, I think that most consumers have the ability to recognize a commercial when they see one and will try to get past it as quickly as possible. For me, the ads presented on the Google search engine retrieval pages (SERPs) are as unobtrusive as possible. My eyes have been trained to not even see them unless I have some need to refer to them. It's not a good idea to dismiss any idea coming from Steve Jobs. However, I personally believe that the iAds initiative will not be highly successful and will certainly not threaten in any way the Google ad revenue stream linked to web search.