It’s been about a week since Apple took the cover off the iPhone App Store, and one of our biggest questions has been answered: We weren’t sure if Apple (AAPL) would limit (or ban) advertising in apps. Now we know they won’t — we count at least three apps already running ads, and many more likely on the way via a cottage industry of iPhone-tailored ad networks.
Twitterrific and Exposure are running graphic-and-text ads brokered by The Deck, a niche ad network run by Chicago-based Coudal Partners, focused on Web sites for the creative and design communities. (Such as Mac geek blog Daring Fireball, design magazine A List Apart, etc.) The way The Deck works: Advertisers buy a run-of-network ad slot for a flat fee — currently $6,400 a month, or a one-day “roadblock” for $5,800.
Right now, The Deck is including the iPhone apps (and the Mac version of Twitterrific) to its advertisers for free. (See left.) One Deck advertiser said he’s happy to have his ad seen on iPhone apps as part of the Deck network buy, but probably wouldn’t buy iPhone app inventory through a cost-per-impression or cost-per-click arrangement.
We like these ads because they’re clean and unobtrusive. But they aren’t for everyone — for instance, it’s not easy for publishers to join The Deck — you must be invited. (In the two years they’ve been open, they’ve only added 30 publishers to their network.)
The New York Times, meanwhile, is selling its own ads for the NYTimes app, which appear at the bottom of the screen when viewing news stories. (See right.)
Westin is their first advertiser; when clicked, the ad takes you to a mobile Web site — served up within the app — that lets you find a Westin hotel, call for reservations, learn a little about their rewards program, etc. That ad slot will be available on a standalone basis or through a larger NYT mobile ad buy.
What’s to come? Surely more of these simple, graphic-and-text ads, but probably some more attention-grabbing stuff, too. One iPhone ad network, PurpleTalk, is promoting an ad unit that shows up when you open an app — and you have to click away from it to continue launching the app. That’s the kind of crappy experience that drives many people crazy about regular Web advertising. Will it get through pass Apple’s aesthetic filter? Will animations? Or video ads? We’ll see.
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