With all the money pumping through the iPhone/app ecosystem, it was only a matter of time before Apple set its sights on advertising. Apple had initially sought to purchase AdMob, only to watch Google swoop in and acquire the mobile advertising firm for a three-quarters of billion dollars. Undeterred, Apple purchased Wireless for a quarter of a million dollars and promptly went to work to deliver what would eventually become iAds.
As you might expect, Jobs has derided the current state of mobile advertising, saying that they don’t look good, aren’t engaging, and are actively avoided by consumers. iAds, on the contrary, seeks to change all that with a focus on elegant and highly interactive ads that don’t take users out of whatever app they happen to be using. Though it’s still too early to know how iAds will pan out, early indications suggest that it’s well on its way to being a major player.
Coincidentally, or not, Google CEO (and former Apple board member) Eric Schmidt recently touted “interactive video ads” at the recent Allen & Co. Sun Valley Conference. Schmidt explained that these interactive ads could appear anywhere on a webpage and would allow users to watch video, leave comments, and even seen real time updates from within the ads themselves.
Mr. Schmidt said in an interview Thursday that he has pushed Google’s ad teams to think about the potential for such ads, which he suggested would eventually become prevalent. But he didn’t comment on any specific plans for them.