Manufacturing the Future – How the iPad and iPhone are reshaping advertising

By John Buckley

Apple seems to have a monopoly on technology news at the moment.  The brief pauses between product announcements are continually filled with speculation about what’s (potentially) coming next.

While the California based style setters are are obviously reshaping consumer technology, what might not be so obvious is their setting of the ground rules for “the new advertising”.

In January, at the iPad launch, Steve Jobs also announced the launch of iAds, a new platform that would allow advertisers to appear in applications on the iPhone and iPod Touch.  An interesting concept, but would there be much money in it?  That question was answered last Monday when Apple announced forward bookings of $60m US in iAds.  That represents almost 50 percent of the total forecasted US mobile ad spending for the second half of 2010.

On top of that, we have a new advertising platform in the shape of publications on the iPad. The iPad (in case you don’t know) is a handheld tablet computer which is slightly larger than a book. Time magazine famously sold ad space in its first editions at $200,000 per page.  That price was obviously tied into the hoopla of the launch of Time for the iPad – advertisers were expecting to cash in on all of the the publicity.

But ads in publications on the iPad do present a compelling proposition, at least in their ability to present rich content in a showcase environment.  Take for example Wired Magazine’s iPad edition.  Wired reveled in the ability to publish a magazine on a platform that was not predicated on the “smooshed atoms of dead trees”. The advertising lienup in the flagship issue showed what the potential is for this new form of one to one, rich media advertising.
* GE displays a rotatable 360º image from the world’s first CT scanner in HD
* An Olympus slide show highlights the advanced photo capabilities of its new PEN E-PL1
* Fidelity Investments showcases its 10 Innovations for Investors in a slide show
* HBO includes a True Blood season two recap slide show promoting the new season’s June 13 premiere
* Intel, Infiniti, Nissan, Mercedes Benz, GE, and Pepsi all feature embedded HD video

Magazine and newspaper proprietors are feting the iPad as the possible saviour of their industry.  Publishers had been facing a slow death as the internet sucked away their readers and advertisers. Now, with the approval to count iPad downloads as part of their audited circulation, and with the ability to charge a fair cover price through iTunes, publishers are very happy with this glimpse of this future of reading.

Locally, we understand a number of publishers are toiling away creating the digital editions of some well known newspaper and magazine titles.  There are even ad opportunities in these titles (just get in touch if you’d like to know more).

As the hype around the iPad and new iPhone subsides, media companies will begin to focus on the boring but necessary stuff, like confirming readership numbers and agreeing on measurement methodologies.  In the meantime, as my one time favourite band Nitzer Ebb sang, don’t you know that there’s fun to be had.

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