Friday, April 09, 2010

iAd - Did Google just hold a red cloth to charging bull?

With iAd now officially announced and details starting to trickle in, the fight is officially on. Google and Apple are now in direct competition and this time it is in Google's home turf. Forbes has a good take on what are missing in the iAd efforts.

The 4 keys ones are -
  1. Creative agencies build ads in Flash. There is no comparable tool for creating HTML5 creatives.
  2. As a media agency (e.g. Publicis, Havas, etc) how do I determine the right targeting, etc to execute the buy to my satisfaction.
  3. How would I measure results?
  4. Oh, also, how will these ads be priced exactly?

The tool for creating ad looks like a limitation today but is something we can expect Apple to fix quickly. XCode is a great IDE and it won't be a stretch to add new capability to create iPhone/iPad advertisements. I think here Apple has advantage and it is just matter of time.

The next three are more critical and crucial one that would determine whether iAd platform succeeds. It is all about the 2-sided platform and how to attract vital user base on both sides. Google being the 800 pound guerrilla is logically expected to dominate. But don't forget that Google is relatively new player to advertisement and certainly a big disruptor in the online search based advertisement marketplace. But search engine advertisement is only a very small share of the bigger pie of advertisement value chain. The traditional players from other mass media advertisement now have a good ally in Apple to extend media advertisements to new platforms. No wonder we see WSJ and NYtimes drooling over the iPad launch

iAd couldn't come at a worse time for Google. Google had been trying hard to extend the online search advertisement (it's cash cow) monetization model beyond search engine with forays into YouTube and Google Map ads . It was slowly starting to get traction and now suddenly has two big threats facing it - Facebook with its massive user base and Apple with its widely popular device. Both with their platforms can now give a better solutions to issues like click fraud, relevancy etc.

Did Google just draw a big "Bulls-eye" on its core business? The bigger question would be how quickly the iPad volume ramps and how it is perceived - more closer to mass media like - "TV" & "Print" or more in the league of "online search". This is just the first inning but one thing we can be sure when all is said and done the end user will be experiencing more personalized, localized, targeted messages that will look like neither of the two look today.

PS: Content does not reflect the opinions of my employer, my former employer or anyone else but me!


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