Apple Apps to Get a Bit More Annoying with new iAd Formats


Apple’s iAd service is a way for independent app developers to make a bit of money while giving away their product to iOS users for free. We don’t particularly like it, but we tolerate it so we can play fun games without having to spend money. The small banner at the top or bottom of the menu screen is fairly unobtrusive, so we don’t complain… much.

Back in March, Ad Age reported that Apple was planning on upgrading its iAd service. This week, Apple announced the upgrade, which  allow companies to buy full-screen advertisement banners, as well as pre-roll videos. So much for unobtrusiveness.

According to Apple’s Developer News site, app makers can now “deliver highly engaging ads from leading brands” in the form of full-screen interstitial banners, which are advertisements that appear between two segments of content, and pre-roll videos, which are commercials that appear just before the start of content.

While these iAds are being promoted by Apple as a way for developers to generate revenue and companies to get their products to consumers on iOS, it really seems more like a way to push users to spend money to remove ads for freemium titles. A small banner at the bottom of the screen is no big deal. A full-page advertisement between each level of gameplay is just annoying.

One of the reasons I find iAds to be so irritating is that they are usually ugly and low quality. Maybe the problem is not on developers using ads in their games, but that companies aren’t willing to shell out more on their mobile advertising budget. I am willing to sit through eight minutes of commercials while watching a half-hour sitcom. I should be willing to look at a half-dozen iAds while playing a video game on my iPad for two hours.

Hopefully, this new method of integrated advertising will encourage companies to work a little harder to appeal to iOS users, instead of treating mobile devices as the dumping ground for failed commercials.

[Via: Marketing Land]

About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik

  • Starman_Andromeda

    Liked the column! Many, if not most, of us, though, I’ll bet, do NOT like sitting through 8 minutes of ads while watching a show. Hence the HUGE popularity of streaming services, e.g., Netflix!

    There’s also a BIG difference between passively watching a dumb sitcom on TV and being interrupted while immersed in, say, an ebook, video game, news story, or satellite watching app . Even with the TV, how many people us fast forward past them, or simply ignore the ads entirely?

    This is a really a bad development–my biggest concern is with the lazy app developers who go for the cheap bucks–the animated! revolving ads are the pits right now! even if just a banner at the bottom of the screen–imagine full screen ads taking over the display.

    Even, worse, are the developers who ADD the ads to purely FREE apps *after the fact*. That’s just bad form and amazingly irritating. Instead, they should provide a paid app with more features–or, in app purchases with additional levels, puzzles, adventures, etc.

    • Lory Gil

      I also really hate it when I pay for an app that has advertisements on top. The Worst!

  • Rebecca Vega

    I also hope the fact that most iAds are irritating and low-quality will improve. Apple doesn’t have a clue in my opinion how to get mobile advertising right. Thye should just look at what Airpush or Tapjoy is doing. Those guys know how to innovate and make quality ads. Honestly, Steve Jobs would probably be embarrassed by the junk iAd is known for.