Parks Associates Blog

Friday, September 10, 2010

Loss of Control or Good Business?

I'd be willing to bet there are two distinct schools of thought regarding Apple’s recent review of its App Store developer guidelines. One: Apple is backing down and losing control. Two: Apple’s doing what Apple does best, practicing good customer service.

Apple prides itself in taking a consumer-centric business approach. So, it’s no surprise that servicing its community of app developers would be any different from how the company protects and supports its faithful/fanatic end-user customers.* Even if that means backing off its firm idea of how the mobile app market should develop. It’s just good business.

Apple’s review of the App Store developer guidelines isn’t all that shocking. In a nutshell, the company is ensuring quality content with an eye to the bottom line. The relaxation of existing developer guidelines not only serves to satisfy developers and app consumers, but also tightens its strong hold on the mobile app market and gives a boost its newly launched mobile ad network, iAd.

What does this mean for mobile advertising? No doubt, ad revenues will continue to line the pockets of developers, Apple, and subsequently initiate a “second waveof interest for the emerging advertising platform.

What about mobile app consumers? Is it really a good idea to push more ads in apps?

Based on our most recently published report, Monetizing Downloadable Mobile Applications, consumer appetite for free mobile apps will continue to grow as well as consumer acceptance of in-app advertising strategies. Our consumer research reveals 46% of adults 18-34 are either indifferent to in-app ads or willing to endure ads in free mobile apps. Okay, great, but that also means that 54% are resistant to ads in apps.

The question is, will consumer attitude shift especially among young mobile users who are more open to ad targeting tactics? Particularly in light of the fact that ad buyers and sellers have the ability to deliver more relevant in-app ads – ones that are innovative and more engaging (this, by the way, is one of Apple’s main drivers for launching iAd).

*Disclaimer: I’m a Mac. Unlike our research analysis, this is a blog where I am free to voice my opinion, which may be altered with bias. I, in good humor, regularly defend myself against my colleagues, who often mock my loyalty. I’m often referred to as the bear in the popular viral video, iPhone4 vs HTC Evo. And guess what? “I don’t care.”

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